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Physical signs that your practice is working

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One that is very clear and simple to keep an eye on is whether air is flowing through the two nostrils. If one nostril is blocked, this indicates that the channel associated with that nostril, ie., Ida or Pingala, is also blocked. According to Yoga theory, both side channels have to be open before starting on the central channel because you need the emotional and mental stability that this indicates. This is such an easy one to check, just press on one side of the nose and see if you can still breathe through the other side. I’ve been doing this occasionally for years, ever since I heard about it in a yoga class, and I have been able to validate it for myself, going from one nostril permanently blocked to breathing through both equally now. 
 

 

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Do you mean blocked as in no air flow at all ,  or 'blocked' as in a restricted air flow ?

 

I seem to remember reading that this is a pulse that alternates between left and right side .    I check occasional  and have been for years , it  seems that way in me ... anything from a slight difference to a full block , then after  a while its on the other side , then after a while both clear .

 

:unsure:

 

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2 hours ago, Nungali said:

Do you mean blocked as in no air flow at all ,  or 'blocked' as in a restricted air flow ?

 

Either, a blocked or restricted nostril would indicate blocked or restricted flow in ida or pingala. 

 

2 hours ago, Nungali said:

 

I seem to remember reading that this is a pulse that alternates between left and right side .   

 

 

I think it alternates until both side channels are fully cleared, at which point both nostrils are permanently open. 

 

2 hours ago, Nungali said:

I check occasional  and have been for years , it  seems that way in me ... anything from a slight difference to a full block , then after  a while its on the other side , then after a while both clear .

 

:unsure:

 


Ive been curious over the years and accepted what I noticed as feedback, good for a reality check. Recently I have found that both nostrils are clear most of the time, and if not the restriction on one side is small. It’s interesting that you have checked over the years as well, have you noticed any overall differences from when you first started checking?

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3 hours ago, Nungali said:

Do you mean blocked as in no air flow at all ,  or 'blocked' as in a restricted air flow ?

 

I seem to remember reading that this is a pulse that alternates between left and right side .    I check occasional  and have been for years , it  seems that way in me ... anything from a slight difference to a full block , then after  a while its on the other side , then after a while both clear .

 

:unsure:

 

 

A few years ago, my yoga instructor said the same thing. Air flow alternates between the right and left nostrils about every 30 minutes, she said. I confirm this from personal experience as well. 

 

As a side note, being able to breathe comfortably from the nose is a bliss. We get reminded of this whenever we have a congestion.

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Is this the theory behind nadi shodana? I remember reading somewhere that breathing through individual nostrils is linked to stimulation of sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous systems. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Vajra Fist said:

Is this the theory behind nadi shodana?
 

 

I believe so. 

 

Quote

I remember reading somewhere that breathing through individual nostrils is linked to stimulation of sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous systems. 


I have come across this idea, but it doesn’t make much sense to me. The older idea of male/female, logical/intuitive, solar/lunar, hot/cold and left/right make more sense to me. More opposites, not greater or lesser levels. .
 

If anything affecting the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system seem like they would be more a function of the central channel. I’m thinking of yogi’s that can reduce their heart rate and breath rate to extremely low, they’re affecting the parasympathetic nervous system, inhibiting these activities, which sounds quite advanced to me, ie., having control over the nervous system. 

Edited by Bindi
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I wish I was less concerned about my nostrils at night.  In bed, I feel one is open, the other side is closed, so I switch the side I'm sleeping on until the other opens.  Then go to my back.. til I feel one nostril closing then switch to that side..  The concern tends to work against sleep.  

 

A piece of qi gong I do is moon/sun breathing.  You make a 'chi ball' breathing up, the hands move up the right side meridian to the shoulder.  Breathing out, they move down it, to the lower dan tien, then breathing up the left meridian to the shoulder and repeat.  What I like is, moving the hands up the side opens the nostrils, breaths in and out thru each side.  So its a non-yoga-ish style of alternate nostril breathing.  

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Posted (edited)

The right and left nostrils open and close at different times of the day based on how the yin/yang cycle is. This is not, of course, a complete opening/closing but of dominance of one side over another. 

 

https://drjahnke.feeltheqi.com/?p=1391

 

Doing a daily alternate-nostril breathing practice  (aka anuloma-viloma pranayma or nadi-shodhana pranayama) will help balance the ida/pingala channels and is a very simple and yet powerful practice. 

Edited by dwai
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9 hours ago, Bindi said:

 

Either, a blocked or restricted nostril would indicate blocked or restricted flow in ida or pingala. 

 

 

I think it alternates until both side channels are fully cleared, at which point both nostrils are permanently open. 

 


Ive been curious over the years and accepted what I noticed as feedback, good for a reality check. Recently I have found that both nostrils are clear most of the time, and if not the restriction on one side is small. It’s interesting that you have checked over the years as well, have you noticed any overall differences from when you first started checking?

 

Yes, actually,  It seems less  restricted when it is .  I first noticed a side being restricted after sleeping on one  side .

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6 hours ago, dwai said:

The right and left nostrils open and close at different times of the day based on how the yin/yang cycle is. This is not, of course, a complete opening/closing but of dominance of one side over another. 

 

Yes, this is true, until they are both clear and open. From swamij -
 

2: Causing Ida and Pingala to flow evenly: The first step in Kundalini Awakening is balancing the flow of energy in Ida and Pingala. This means that equal amounts of Prana are flowing in the left and right sides. It is most readily evidenced by the breath flowing evenly in the two nostrils.

 

Sandhya, the wedding: The union or balancing of Ida and Pingala is like a marriage. It is the wedding of sun and moon, night and day. This wedding is called sandhya, and like with a marriage, is a time of great joy, only this is a meditative joy. In this wedding even the mind and the breath are joined in a happy union. 

 

 

6 hours ago, dwai said:

 

 

https://drjahnke.feeltheqi.com/?p=1391

 

Doing a daily alternate-nostril breathing practice  (aka anuloma-viloma pranayma or nadi-shodhana pranayama) will help balance the ida/pingala channels and is a very simple and yet powerful practice. 


 

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On 3/6/2021 at 6:41 PM, thelerner said:

I wish I was less concerned about my nostrils at night.  In bed, I feel one is open, the other side is closed, so I switch the side I'm sleeping on until the other opens.  Then go to my back.. til I feel one nostril closing then switch to that side..  The concern tends to work against sleep.  

 

 

I hear you!  The follow-up to that scenario is finally having both nostrils blocked so you have to breathe from the mouth. Then you end up with a stinky dry mouth and invite many health problems.

 

I did some research on this a while ago. Many factors contribute to night time congestion. The main one is that during the day your head is upright and the mucus flows down to your throat and gets swallowed into the stomach. At night, this natural flow diminishes greatly due to lack of gravity effects. The best fix is sleeping straight on your back with your head elevated over a pillow. I am.not used to sleeping this way, but I am trying to make an effort. My sleeping quality is not good.

 

A complicated issue this is, and I am sorry to go off-topic.

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On a side note.... its a bad idea to consciously swallow mucus. They're nothing but blobs of toxin meant to be expunged. 

 

On the matter of nostril blockages, I'd be curious if any of you have regulated your breathing to the abdomen instead of from the lungs/chest? Personally, I'm a habitual abdominal breather, and I don't experience any bunged up nostrils unless I get a cold, which is pretty rare. 

 

Abdominal breathing is essential for dream yoga to stabilize, and dream yoga is another useful yardstick to know if your practice is working. 

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6 hours ago, MuadDib said:

 

I did some research on this a while ago. Many factors contribute to night time congestion. The main one is that during the day your head is upright and the mucus flows down to your throat and gets swallowed into the stomach. At night, this natural flow diminishes greatly due to lack of gravity effects. The best fix is sleeping straight on your back with your head elevated over a pillow. I am.not used to sleeping this way, but I am trying to make an effort. My sleeping quality is not good.

 

A complicated issue this is, and I am sorry to go off-topic.

Not at all.  Good point.  When my wife complained of my snoring I bought a wedge pillow that keeps your head and shoulders angled.  It worked nicely, but wasn't that comfortable.  Later I found I got the same affect by placing my pillows in a T, which also raised my head.  

 

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6 hours ago, C T said:

On a side note.... its a bad idea to consciously swallow mucus. They're nothing but blobs of toxin meant to be expunged. 

 

On the matter of nostril blockages, I'd be curious if any of you have regulated your breathing to the abdomen instead of from the lungs/chest? Personally, I'm a habitual abdominal breather, and I don't experience any bunged up nostrils unless I get a cold, which is pretty rare. 

 

Abdominal breathing is essential for dream yoga to stabilize, and dream yoga is another useful yardstick to know if your practice is working. 


I’ve always used dreams as a source of useful and valid information, which I think is not compatible with dream yoga. For me dreams reflect what is going on emotionally and mentally at a subconscious level, which I have found to be valuable in teasing out what is conditioning and what is natural, but they have also often enough showed me a state that I am to work towards energetically. 
 

For me dreams are invaluable, but used in an entirely different manner to dream yoga, and with an entirely different end point. 

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I've always thought freedom, ease of mind, and compassion were a nice way to tell. If you have it, the physical signs don't matter. If you have the physical signs but not the freedom, ease of mind, and compassion then the physical signs again don't really matter.

 

But any sign does not necessarily mean that the lack of the sign or the opposite of the sign means that there is no progress. I've noticed that there are often upheavals which back it seem as though one is even worse than before. However, once these subside (or are used for practice), the practice appears much stronger than before. 

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, C T said:

On a side note.... its a bad idea to consciously swallow mucus. They're nothing but blobs of toxin meant to be expunged. 

 

On the matter of nostril blockages, I'd be curious if any of you have regulated your breathing to the abdomen instead of from the lungs/chest? Personally, I'm a habitual abdominal breather, and I don't experience any bunged up nostrils unless I get a cold, which is pretty rare. 

 

Abdominal breathing is essential for dream yoga to stabilize, and dream yoga is another useful yardstick to know if your practice is working. 

 

Yes when I think about it, it is kind of gross. I certainly don't do it intentionally 😁 But every time we swallow, we swallow a little bit of mucus whether we want to or not. The stuff just travels down to the throat. An option is to clear the throat and spit it out, but spitting is generally looked down upon. Athletes spit it out though without any hindrance.

 

I am also habitually an abdomen breather, unless I am in a very stressful situation. I find myself breathing shallowly in those situations. The nostril blockage problem is a night time issue for me when I am usually relaxed and breathing from the abdomen. Until the nostrils get blocked 😂

 

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I was a throat breather, until I started to do breath meditation at the abdomen. I found that my breath naturally sank. Interestingly, it has been pointed out that one can not only breath down to the abdomen, but also up the back. 

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9 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

I was a throat breather, until I started to do breath meditation at the abdomen. I found that my breath naturally sank. Interestingly, it has been pointed out that one can not only breath down to the abdomen, but also up the back. 

One can even breath from specific points — some of it has to link the “normal” breath with the opening/closing of specific points (such as the Mingmen, etc). 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/6/2021 at 3:49 PM, Nungali said:

Do you mean blocked as in no air flow at all ,  or 'blocked' as in a restricted air flow ?

 

Hi Nun,

 

For me it is not about 'air flow' but more about  'qi flow'.

 

On 3/6/2021 at 3:49 PM, Nungali said:

I seem to remember reading that this is a pulse that alternates between left and right side .

 

Yes ~ there is an alternating 'qi flow' between the Ida and Pingala nadis. How do I know?

 

When qi flows into my left or right nostril ~ I can feel it and sneeze with ecstasy from there.

 

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God Bless You!

 

- Anand

 

 

Edited by Limahong
Enhancement

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