Balance the right and left sides of the brain for a sense of well-being
Yogic polarity as we saw the last time is the harmonious interaction between (so called) opposites. Loma is masculine or warm and viloma is feminine or cool. `Ha’ indicates the `sun’ and `tha’ the `moon’ in Hatha yoga.
While practising the asanas and pranayamas it can be either loma or viloma depending on the movement of energy. When we bend forward it is loma. Backward bends are viloma.
Breathing through the right nostril is loma and through the left is viloma.Breathing through the right nostril activates the left side of the brain and vice versa. The left side of the brain is termed as the masculine side.
Logic, linearity, lists, analytical, sequential, looks at parts, words, practical and safe.
Functions of the feminine right side of the brain:
Feeling, lateral thinking, creative, synthesizing, intuitive, looks at whole, symbols and images, impetuous and risk taking.
Yogic practices help balance and establish a harmonious interaction between the two sides of the brain. Thought different, one is not better than the other. However, the modern education system is more left brain-based.
The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa. Hence, working consciously on the right side of the body impacts the left-brain and vice versa.
The Anu Loma Viloma Kriya is a practice that regulates the masculine and feminine aspects. It soothes and rebuilds the nervous system. It helps blend extremes. It regulates the electrical flow in the nervous system. Deep relaxation is produced during this practice that facilitates healing.
This is best learned under the guidance of a teacher. However, to see the ingenuity of the yogis in facilitating masculine-feminine balance is fascinating.
This kriya is done in shava asana with the head to the north. Breathe in the savithri rhythm 8:4-8:4, that is one breathes in for eight counts, holds the breath for four counts, breaths out for eight and holds for four counts. After 6-9 rounds of this start visualizing a golden warm solar energy from above the head moving downwards to the feet, penetrating the entire body. Hold in the breath below. Then on the out breath visualize a silvery cool energy moving upwards. Hold out the breath above the head. Continue for 5-10 minutes till a deep state of relaxation is reached. One needs to have a good grip of pranayama to practice this kriya and you can see the importance of starting with the basics.
A combination of body posture, breath and visualization was used by the ancient researchers to balance and build the system. There is a sense of well being, wholeness and abundance when one is in a state of polarity. Whatever we need, will come to us.
If you find yourself lacking then most likely the nervous system has been dissipated. Practice polarity and regain a sense of psychic and material prosperity.
(A fortnightly column on yoga and holistic health)