377 – What has Navratri got to do with breathing?

We all know that we breathe through both our nostrils and that sometimes one nostril is blocked. However, we do not attach too much importance to it. Our doctors say that it could be sinusitis or a deviated septum. Our body has a biorhythm. There is a dyad cycle of hot and cold and this also happens in our breathing.

Our left nostril works on our parasympathetic system and is described as working on our thoughts. This nostril is described as the Ida nostril (moon channel), and the prana in the air is cool, it enables one to be at rest and at peace. Too much thinking can lead to anguish and depression.

The right nostril is described as the Pingala nostril (sun nostril) and the prana in the air is warm. It is the prana which works on our vitality and also the fight/flight/fright response. We have to learn to balance our breathing and it is the goal of all our sadhanas.

Why is this to be accomplished?

Our sushumna nadi has to flow and this nadi is the nadi through which our uncontaminated prana can flow, not burdened by negativity or positivity. When this occurs, there is a minor miracle in our system. We are cleansed; our koshas, elements, chakras and our 72,000 nadis are flowing. We are free of fears and are full of hope and optimism.

In Navaratri, which we celebrate in spring and autumn, we are working on ourselves. During the nine nights, we go through a physical, mental and spiritual process. We dedicate our time for cleansing. Fasting, prayers comprise our day. Karma Yoga is also a powerful aspect.

Now let us address our gunas, tamas, rajas, and sattva. They are essential for our existence. The first three days, we pray to Durga Ma to remove our grossness. Next three days, we pray to curb our ego and aggression, and the last days we pray to seek truth.

How should we go about this auspicious time?

Practice breath awareness. Visualise the breath going in and out through the left nostril 54 times, and then do the same with the right nostril 54 times, lastly visualize the breath going in through both nostrils 108 times. If you have a mantra use it, also a symbol will help.

Aim Hrim Klim


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