The title of this post is probably completely inaccurate, but I will do my best. We had a very memorable Surf N Sol client a while ago who asked great questions like “why do surfers like tacos so much?” He was an enthusiastic kid in the body of a grown man, and his zest for surfing was really inspiring. He had begun a yoga practice recently at home on the mainland, and after one of our sessions on the lanai, he asked me “why do they always tell you to roll to your right side after savasana?” If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you’ve heard instructors say “start to wiggle your fingers and toes, bend the knees, roll to your right side, using your right arm as a pillow”, and so on. Obviously, I give the same instructions– as an aside, that little in between posture between lying and sitting up is freaking magic, and I recommend you all take a few breaths there and just soak in the bliss.
I have to admit I was a little stumped, and made up something about how the right side is traditionally thought to be noble and clean while the left is shunned (which, to be fair, I thought was a pretty decent explanation). We came up with a few good guesses, but I let it go after that and didn’t think about it again.
Lo and behold, while reading a book about yoga today, there was a little paragraph just at the end. The author wrote that lying on the right side encourages left-nostril dominance, which is believed to promote relaxation. In yogic tradition, one’s body is full of nadis, channels of energy that flow throughout the body (similar to chi in Chinese medicine and used in acupuncture. The Ida- Sanskrit for “comfort”- nadi controls left side of the body, and the right side of the brain, and is considered the feminine, yin side of the body. The corresponding side is Pingala, which is more extroverted and active. So maybe it isn’t just caprice that makes us all roll to our right sides. If this does in fact make sense, try sleeping on your right side– maybe you’ll wake up more relaxed and ready to face the day.