White & Gold — A Balancing Breath

The “White & Gold” breath is a mindful way to fully expand the lungs, draw in fresh prana (the life force that surrounds us), balance and harmonize the body’s rhythms, and empty out negative congestion in the body (those things that slow us down).

We practiced this breath in yoga class on 9/14 … and we will use it in next week’s classes as well. (So you can try it out before class if you like!)

Sit comfortably. Or lie down (if you promise not to snooze). It is possible to do this breath while sitting at your desk or sitting in traffic. (I wouldn’t advise you to do it while driving … but I have been known to slip a breath or two in when going from here to there.)

Just relax a bit and find your breath. Try to ignore the other distractions of life, and just listen to air as it journeys in through the nostrils and finds it way into the lungs and journeys out through the nostrils. This sound of the breath can be very quieting for the body and mind. (I always like to imagine that even as I am doing nothing – being completely lazy – the restful rhythm of my breath is carrying on … sustaining and renewing me.)

After a minute or two, begin to focus on just the right side of the body. Imagine the breath coming into the right side of the body as though it were a vibrant and radiant white light, flowing into the right nostril and filling the body – filling the head, the torso, the right arm, and right leg – with healing prana white light.

As you begin to exhale, gently move your awareness to the left side of the body and imagine the left side of the body exhaling fully – from the left leg and left arm, from the left side of the torso, and the left lung – sending a strong golden light of empowerment and cleansing out through the left nostril.

So, the in breath becomes a vibrant white light for healing, coming into the right side of the body, and the out breath becomes a radiant golden light of cleansing and empowerment as it goes out through the left side of the body.

Try this for several breaths and then switch sides. With the white light now coming in on the left, filling the left side of the body, and the golden light now moving through and out on the right side.

This is not the alternate nostril breath we sometimes practice in yoga, where we physically block one nostril as we breathe. Instead, we are simply using our inner awareness – our imagination – to focus our attention on the breath … to pay attention to just one side of the body as the breath flows in and out.

By moving attention from right to left we help to not only calm the nervous system, but to harmonize and balance the energies of the body.

Visualizing the healing energy of the in breath as a white light is a nice way to remind ourselves of how healing our breath (and yoga practice) can be. And, as we cleanse with the golden light of the out breath, we also are reminded of our own personal power – that we can, indeed, rid ourselves of stress and other challenges. We can control our tension and stress and we can let it all go … with simply a breath.

I hope you enjoy this nice little practice. Play with it … and simply breathe!


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