To spread the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga, which remains forever the same in essence, yet always adapts to the time and place.

Swara Yoga
Swara Yoga is the science of nasal breath.

Swara Yoga allows one to get in tune with the lunar and planetary cycles and to change left or right hemisphere dominance at will. Swara Yoga is also a great aid in any healing process.

Each nostril, when it operates independently, influences the body chemistry in a different way. When both nostrils operate simultaneously, the body chemistry also alters so as to make meditation rather than worldly activity appropriate to engage in. According to Swara Yoga, the right nostril, being solar or heating in character, increases acidic secretions, whereas the left nostril, being lunar or cooling, increases alkaline secretions.

Click for a larger image of the head nadisBoth right and left nostrils are connected with the opposite sides of the cerebral hemispheres and the olfactory lobe. The nose is in direct contact with the hypothalamus by its link with the olfactory lobe of the brain. The hypothalamus is a part of the limbic system, associated with emotions and motivation.

Nostrils, by means of the process of respiration, are connected with neuromotor responses and thus with the autonomic nervous system. These neuromotor responses influence the hemispheres of the brain and the primary activity of the brain, which is chemical. Neurotransmitters are the brain's chemical messengers. They influence all body functions.

Through a network of sensory nerves in the nose, the nostrils are connected to subtle nerves or nadis. Influencing the nadis is the key technique of Swara Yoga.

Swara Yoga teaches that the dominance of each nostril in breathing changes regularly. By strongly inhaling through the nose, one may find out which nostril is dominant because one will feel the cooling effect of the airflow inside that nostril. The nadis Ida and Pingala terminate in the left and right nostril respectively and are activated when the corresponding nostril is dominant. The central Sushumna is activated when both nostrils operate simultaneously, which usually happens only for a short while when the transition from one nostril to the other takes place and at dawn or dusk. The periodic alternation of the nostrils balances the entire system. Seeing to it that this balance does not get disturbed is the basic objective of Swara Yoga.

The dominance of the nostrils is strongly effected by the movements of the planets and especially by the moon. One of the techniques of Swara yoga is to check whether the nostril dominance is in accord with the planetary cycles and if necessary to correct it accordingly, preventing psychological and physical problems. This is especially important to do each day at sunrise, so that one starts the day in harmony with the planetary energy of that day. For that a PRANA CALENDAR is used.

Another important aspect of Swara Yoga is to adapt special activities to nostril dominance or vice versa. Breathing through the left nostril influences the cortical activity on the right side of the brain more than the left and vice versa. The twin hemispheres of the brain have highly specialized functions. The right hemisphere, stimulated by left nostril dominance, is connected to feminine, lunar, emotional, visual and more peaceful activities. The left hemisphere, stimulated by right nostril dominance, is connected to masculine, solar, rational verbal and more energetic activities. In this respect, Swara Yoga allows to alter consciousness.

Activities associated with each nostril according to Swara Yoga

Playing music
Working hard
Construction of hermitage, temple
Destruction of country
Planting, gardening
Giving charity
Yantra or mantra practice
Cutting gems
Birth of baby
Hunting, killing
Preparing medicine
Practicing medicine
Martial arts
Drinking (nonalcoholic)
Eating and drinking liquor
Hatha yoga

Healing through Swara Yoga

Swara Yoga advises changing the dominant nostril at the first sign of any physical or mental disturbance. Thus the active side of the body is changed and glandular secretions reestablish balance.

For example in fever, one should plug the operating nostril with a cotton ball and keep it plugged until body temperature becomes normal again. Chronic indigestion can be cured by cultivating a habit of eating only when the right nostril is dominant. The same goes for eating and defecating in case of constipation. Stress created by hard work and physical labor can be cured by lying on the right side and breathing through the left nostril for 25 to 30 minutes. If you want to alter an unwanted emotional state, just breath through the congested nostril for a while.

Swara Yoga techniques can also be used for healing others, for creating favorable conditions in life, in foretelling death and in determining the gender of an unborn child. The most powerful application of Swara Yoga lies in meditation.

About this page

Wil GeraetsIntroduction to Swara Yoga extracted by Wil Geraets from "Breath, Mind and Consciousness" , which contains 37 activity descriptions for left nostril dominance and 40 for right nostril dominance, as well as a lot more detailed information on Swara Yoga techniques. Click here for all extracts from this book.

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Sanatan Society is an international networking association of students of the late Harish Johari, joining efforts to promote his teachings of yoga philosophy, tantra, worship, art and love. Sanatan Society stands for the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga. Though it is Hindu in origin, Sanatan Society is not limited to any religion, race, time or country, nor in fact to any particular organisation. More about Sanatan Society...

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