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Breathwork has many excellent functions — practical, spiritual, and more. Learning the theory behind this practice will go a long way toward helping you understand it. One of the core things that you need to understand is the Ida and Pingala. Also known as the moon and sun energies, these are powerful forces that run within your subtle body.
Balancing the Ida and Pingala
Before you can embark on your Kundalini Awakening, you must first balance the flow of energy in Ida and Pingala. To get to this point, you need to ensure that there is an equal amount of Prana flowing in both the left and right sides. You can see evidence of this as the breath that moves between the two nostrils. As you move forward on your journey, you will start to engage in breathwork and learn more about this powerful balance.
Finding Your Center
Oftentimes, you will hear people talk about feeling ‘out of balance’. When that happens, you may feel as though nothing is going your way. Small and simple things upset you in surprising ways. The reason for this is simple: you’re off your center. Luckily, when you start balancing your Ida and Pingala, you will find that it naturally centers your body and mind. As this happens, there are plenty of health benefits and spiritual rewards.
Shifts Between Ida and Pingala
One of the things that few people realize is that the body naturally transitions between Ida and Pingala energies throughout the day. If you are healthy, you should find that this shift takes place every 90 minutes or so. For that reason, you will notice a change in your energy and, of course, your emotions. However, in some people, you may find that the energies get stuck in either Ida or Pingala for an entire day or even longer.
Bringing Calm to the Mind
When these transitions happen, a wonderful benefit can occur. During the shift, you will find that you have an inner sense of calm. Often enough, people find that they are comfortable, at peace, and have a moment of inner clarity. In these moments, you may feel sleepy and think that you need to rest. That is not the case. Instead, you should allow the moment to pass naturally and let the simple transition take place.
Solar and Lunar Breaths
Before we go any further, it’s important to understand that your Kundalini energy is predominantly on one side. However, this is different in all people. You may have more energies on your left-hand side or your right-hand side. Understanding this fundamental truth is the first step in learning how to create a sense of true balance in your energy.
For that reason, you will find that your Prana will be focused on one of your sides. If your breath is mainly on through the left nostril, that is cool and feminine energy. On the other hand, if your breath is mainly through your right nostril, that is warm and masculine.
The Natural Flow of Prana
When you start using breathwork in your Kundalini Yoga journey, you need to understand the role that prana plays. The energy happens to flow in certain patterns, which we call nadis. These lines are central to the entire ethos of prana and how it affects us. It is believed that there are more than 72,000 different patterns that the prana follows.
As the prana moves throughout your body, it sparks different reactions at each point. For example, you may find that it awakens your inner consciousness, allows you to think more clearly, or changes the way that you feel. Physiological changes happen with the natural flow of prana too. You may find that the prana impacts your physical body and the brain.
Intersections of the Nadis are Chakras
Of course, the nadis in our subtle body also intersect with our chakras. As these cross, they also intersect with the five elements which are earth, water, fire, air, and space. All of these profound elements come together to create a gross body. Before you embark on your breathwork journey, you should understand this remarkable inner connection.
Whenever we talk about the chakras, we tend to think of them as being deep inside the body. However that is not the case. The truth of the matter is that the body is suspended on the chakras and these chakras map out the various nadis pathways. Think of it like a map that has been placed over the top of your physical body. You can see the chakras and the nadis connecting and creating a unique system of routes and pathways.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Now that you understand what the Ida and Pingala is all about, let’s talk about how you can find your center and create a sense of balance. One of the approaches you may want to take is a practice called alternate nostril breathing. This tool is commonly used as a central part of the Kundalini Yoga experience. That means that adding it to your everyday practice is a simple way to start a real transformation within your subtle body.
You can balance the Ida and Pingala using this breathing technique. While there are many different combinations of alternate nostril breathing, there’s an easy one with which you can start. That is to breathe in three times and out three times through one nostril. When you have done that, switch it up, and do it with the other side. Try this three times.
The Ida and Pingala energies are important in your breathwork practice. Now that you’re clear on their function and the role of the nadis, why not include alternate nostril breathing in your sessions? Doing so could make a huge difference to how you feel and act. Finding your center doesn’t have to be difficult, so long as you approach it on a daily basis. Take the time to add this form of breathwork to your regime.