Know your rhythm? – 2

Lunar Cycle (moon’s cycle) alters every 15 days as we know – new moon to full moon and vice versa. The 2 hours rhythm between right and left nostril based on the time of day and day of the week and lunar cycle is given in this chart below. This breathing rhythm is universal and we can check just by placing our back of the palms under the nose and breathe little forcefully.

Breathing Rhythm Table

Breathing Rhythm (Waxing phase, Waning phase of Moon)

Monday, Wednesday and Friday – between 4 am to 6 am the breath is on the left side and it alternates for every 2 hours. Sunday, Tuesday and Saturday – between 4 am to 6 am the breath is on the right side and it alternates for every 2 hours. On Shukla / Waxing Thursday, the breath starts on the left side at 4 am and on the Krishna / Waning Thursday it’s on the right side.

You may not need the chart as it is very simple to find out which nostril is active. Please note that as per the yoga system only one nostril is active any time and not both (most of the times). To add a word of caution that there is a school of thought which states that the breath alternates every one hour and not two as mentioned above and the reference point is 6am and not 4 am (considering it as the sunrise

Following are the suggestions…

  • Please ignore the exact timings for the time being since it is more important to understand that there is a rhythm. Both the schools of thought don’t deny this and agree very much that there is a rhythm. Also the cut over from one nostril to another is not smooth. To know your breath now just blow a little forcefully on the back of your palm.
  • Go with what your yoga guru tells you or listen to what the ultimate Guru in your heart tells you.
  • We shall see the importance of 4 am to 6 am time slot in detail later.

The basic of pranayama is all about symmetric breathing pattern and restore the imbalance if any. The beauty about our system of knowledge is that we always saw a rhythm / order governing every aspect of nature and this was linked to the primordial rhythm.


Know thy Nature by Raguram Gopalan,

Author: Ganesh

A soul in the search of eternal peace... "Be True, Love All, Help Others Selflessly, Live in Harmony and Rest in Peace"

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