swarodaya śāstra

We were breathing all our life and are going to do so for the rest. Since it is an autonomous process, we take it for granted. It gives to take some time understanding the underlying science of breathing.

On a physical level, lungs are the pumps that expand inhaling the air from outside, filter and circulate it through the blood and exhale the remaining air out.

A healthy human body temperature is 37*C (98.6*F). Irrespective of the surrounding, the body tries to remain in this temperature. Breath is one of the major tools the body uses to maintain the optimum temperature.

At any given time, this inhalation happens through either left, right or both nostrils. When we are breathing through left, the body is cooling down. Through right, it is heating up. When the body is at optimum temperature and several other variables are ideal and also when breath transitions between left to right and vice versa, breath flows through both the nostrils.

Left breath demands rest, tamo guna (intert, dark, cold, silence, moon nature). This is the ideal time to sleep, rest, do some simple tasks that doesn't demand much physical or mental effort. When someone goes to bed and their breath is already flowing through left nostril, they fall asleep immediately.

Right breath demands activity, rajo guna (passion, light, heat, sound, sun nature). Best suited for physically and mentally demanding tasks. This right breath is the reason, some of our workout sessions are effortlessly intensive and when sluggish, unmotivated in gym, check your breath, it'll be through the left nostril.

Balanced breath through both nostrils is the sattva guna, i.e., transition state, neither dark nor light, neither hot nor cold, both sun and moon influence are at its minimum, if not absolutely nil. During this time, it won't be easy to make a decision, hence it is also considered time of confusion and not ideal to do prominent tasks involving business, relationship and authority. On the other hand, this is the best time to be introspective and meditative, a conscious sleep becomes naturally possible.

Breath is the thread that stitches body and mind. Every emotion changes the amplitude, frequency and the depth it travels in the body.

While amplitude is directly proportional to amount of air inhaled and frequency can be seen as number of breaths per second. The depth of the breath is the not a common knowledge.

The breath of relief is the deepest breath possible as the inhaled air hits the mooladhara (perineum), the base of the spine. When we eat something sweet (இனிப்பு), it triggers this deep breath as well.

A feeling of passion like lust, deep desire thrusts the vital breath to hit the swadishtana (reproductive region). The taste of astringent (துவர்ப்பு) triggers it as well.

When we taste sourness (புளிப்பு) or go through the emotion of love, care and compassion vital breath hits manipura (navel region).

Breath makes a u-turn at the anahata (heart region) during the taste of bitterness (கசப்பு) and the emotion of anger.

Fear and salt (உப்பு) makes the vital breath not to go past the vishuddhi (throat region).

spicy hot (காரம்) and emotion of sadness makes vital breath stay above the trunk. The air circulates around the ajna (center of the eyebrows) region.

To ensure the breath vitalizes all these 6 regions (ஆறு படை வீடு), food with all 6 six tastes (அருண்சுவை) was insisted in older civilizations. These 6 regions contain very prominent endocrine glands (நாளமில்லா சுரபி) and as long as they are taken care, they take good care of the whole body. Hence, a person who goes through and exerts all these emotions spontaneously are very healthy physically and psychologically.

Yoga practitioners, sportsmen, adventurers, children, happy people knowingly or unknowingly keep these 6 regions well ventilated and supplied with abundant blood filled with necessary minerals.

Disturbance in the breath flow pattern has been a reliable indicator of existing and approaching health concerns and impact on living standards. To know this, the base pattern has to be established for the individual. In general, cold days begin (at sunrise) with left nostril dominant and hot days with right. Moon, Mercury Saturn are cool planets while Sun, Mars and Venus are hot. Jupiter is cool in waxing phase and hot in waning phase. In an healthy body, the breathing pattern aligns with the horas ruled by these planets, i.e., during moon hora, left nostril is dominant, mars hora right and so on. When it not so, it is an indicator of either present or approaching illness or anxiety. The length of the disturbance denotes the severity of the impact.

This is a much deeper subject and like all the shastras, if your embark on journey to attain mastery over it, it would be an endless pursuit. In current times, neither people have patience not time in knowing about these horas and observing the breath pattern. Hence, a simple technique. When you wake up, check which nostril is dominant, say left, then rub the face with the left palm on the left side to get more blood flow and take your first step out of bed with left leg. The happenings of the day will fall in your favor.