When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you need balance. Here's the perfect breath.
Take your right hand and, with your fingers outstretched, block off your right nostril by putting gentle pressure on it with your thumb. Be sure to keep the rest of your fingers straight and pointing up towards the sky; the fingers act like antennas for the “cosmic” energy that surrounds us all.
With a long, slow, deep breath, gently inhale through your left nostril. Then release the thumb and, using the index finger on the right hand, block off the left nostril and exhale long, slowly and completely, through the right nostril. Keeping the left nostril blocked with the index finger, inhale slowly and fully through the right nostril. Switch your fingers again so that the right thumb is blocking the right nostril and exhale completely through the left nostril.
Continue this alternate nostril breathing for 3 to 11 minutes. An easy way to remember which finger goes on which nostril, always use the thumb for your right nostril, always use your index finger for the left nostril. When do you switch? Switch nostrils only to exhale.
Relax your body and feel the energy smoothly and gracefully building in your body, bringing new life into your body.
As with any meditation I will teach here, feel free to start with a shorter practice time and slowly, as your tolerance and confidence increase, you can build up the amount of time you practice. With Kundalini Yoga pranayamas (breathing techniques) a good starting time is 3 minutes, a great workout is 11 minutes, and 31 minutes balances your entire system.
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan