Is the breathing mechanism practiced in yoga scientific?
Q: In yoga, breath is said to alternate between the left and right nostril (one nostril gets closed and the other is available primarily for inflow and outflow) these are referred to as ida and pingala. I correlated it and found this to be so true, the alternation happens about every two hours. Is their any mechanism identified in medical science that creates and controls this alternation?
A:Many body functions have a diurnal rhythm that is chronobiologiclly controlled by factors such as food intake and sleep. The adrenal gland is very strongly controlled by such rhythms and the release of adrenaline may be similarly affected. The nasal mucous membrane does undergo varying degrees of engorgement and in some people this is more evident than in the general population. Perhaps food or even the anticipation of eating can control the balance and it is likely that persistent dedicated yoga practices can enhance the element of psychic control. It would be interesting to know if this could be proved in a scientific laboratory study.