You can increase your brain power by taking advantage of a very specific breathing technique called alternate nostril breathing.
Just as you have a dominant hand that you use most commonly, you also have a dominant brain hemisphere.
Your right brain is generally considered your gestalt hemisphere. If you are right brain dominant, you generally learn by understanding the big picture first.
Your left brain is your logic hemisphere. If you are left brain dominant, you learn details first and proceed in a linear, logical fashion.
Under stress, most people’s non-dominant brain hemisphere is 75 to 85 percent shut down.
So if you are gestalt dominant, under stress you would have trouble thinking logically, adding and subtracting and understanding details.
If you are logic dominant, under stress you would lose the big picture, context and relevance.
The more you can access your entire brain more of the time, the more you can remain in the flow of life, accessing your full intelligence. You can think faster, feel more relaxed and see the big picture and the details at the same time.
Brain integration work is so important that the first 10 years I studied healing work, my main focus was learning everything I could about how to heal the brain naturally.
One of the simplest ways to turn on both sides of your brain is with alternate nostril breathing, also known as nadi shodan pranayama.
Here’s how you do this breathing technique:
- Sit comfortably on a chair or yoga bolster. When you sit properly, there’s a natural curve of 30 to 35 degrees in your lumbar spine. Your spine can lengthen. Your lungs can expand. You pull your shoulders back. Your chest opens and the crown of your head extends upwards.
- If your sinus passages are blocked, I recommend you blow your nose before you begin.
- Bring the thumb together with the first two fingers of your left hand.
- Fold the pointer finger and middle finger of your right hand.
- Place your right hand in front of your nose.
- Inhale. After you inhale, place your right thumb on the corner of your right nostril.
- Exhale. After you exhale, place your right finger on the corner of your left nostril. Pressing into the corners of your nostrils stimulates the pituitary gland in your brain, which in turn calms your adrenal glands and balancing your thyroid gland.
- Release your thumb off the right nostril. Exhale through your right nostril.
- Inhale through your right nostril. Close your right nostril.
- Release your ring finger off the left nostril. Exhale through your left nostril.
- Continue alternate nostril breathing. Stay relaxed and don’t force the breath. When you are complete, finish by exhaling out of your right nostril.
Alternate nostril breathing is part of a longer breath work routine I put together for you for FREE called Eight Minutes to Inner Peace.
If you are practicing alternate nostril breathing as part of this longer routine, you can practice it for as short of a time as one minute.
If you practice this breathing technique separately, I would recommend you continue for at least two minutes or until you feel significantly calmer.
How does alternate nostril breathing affect your brain?
- Your right nostril connects to the left side of your brain.
- Your left nostril connects to the right side of your brain.
- When you are healthy, you will notice that your nostril dominance naturally alternates. Persistent closure of one side or the other is a sign that you are becoming ill.
- By opening both the right and left channels, you will activate both hemispheres of your brain, allowing you to access your full intelligence.
I recommend alternate nostril breathing as a natural healing remedy for students studying for tests, for anyone who wants to calm anxiety or stop a panic attack without drugs and to experience inner peace anytime, anywhere.
Writers and artists can use this technique when they feel stuck because the creative process requires us to use both sides of our brains – the right side for inspiration and the left side for detailed execution.
What is healing?
Healing happens when you learn how to breathe and access the full power of your brain.