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Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending

Ninja Craps Pro



Follow Your Nose To The Tables

A few months ago, I wrote a short article about reminding the players in our community to breathe properly before and during their game. In that article, I wrote about how we live in a culture of "breath holders" and how I continue to remind the player to breathe when it is their turn to shoot.

A question students ask is if it is better to breathe through their nose or through their mouth. My general answer is that I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth except when I practice an exercise that is known as alternate nostril breathing, utilized in yoga circles. And, Iíve seen martial artists use it too. The exercise can also be found with a few guided meditation tapes. There is a tape by Eric Nielson offered by Jerry Pattersonís group that also utilizes the exercise.

Because the question prompted me to talk about it with the student, I thought that I would explain the exercise in short detail. This exercise is practiced by both the Dice Coach and I and a good time for us to practice it is when we head to the lavatory to wash our hands before and after playing a session because it can look a bit silly doing it in public. And, it is always best to wash our hands just as a general practice.

We also use this when we find ourselves in "sticky"situations and need to "clear our heads"to respond quickly and with the least amount of resistance. Iíve witnessed Dice Coachís way of telling a person to "chill out,"in a heated situation, by yelling: "Hey dude, practice some alternate nostril breathing!!"Just the fact that he says this out loud makes everyone involved in a heated situation laugh. One of the things you have to love about the Dice Coach is his wit.

Anyway, back to the exercise and why a player should consider using it.

Using your thumb and index finger, you are going to press closed one nose nostril and inhale through the other side and then you will close off the nostril you inhaled through with your thumb and release your breath through the alternate nostril. In other words, switch to the opposite nostril each time you breathe out.

Repeat this alternating exercise and you will discover a couple of things. One side is easier to breathe in and out of or both sides are easy to breathe in and out of. The reader can do a Google search for greater detail on the howís and whyís of it.

Generally, what a person will find is that the results change through out the day. A healthy player will breathe through one nostril for about two hours and will then alternate to the other nostril.

Without getting into too much scientific detail, the player will notice which side of his anatomy is functioning better than the other. Researchers have found that there is a connection between the nostril breathing with greater ease and the opposite hemisphere of your brain.

The Yogis believe that this is due to how the body builds and releases heat with the right nostril generating heat and the left one releasing heat from the body and this is how the bodyís energy stays in balance.

So, from an energetic stand point, when the left nostril is more open it is a good time to do creative stuff where your imagination is heightened. When the right nostril is more open, it is a great time for activity and physical movement.

It would be interesting to notice how your performance at the tables is tied into which nostril is the predominant one. Iíll let you figure out which nostril will provide you with peek performance. Ideally, I look for a balance in both nostrils before hitting the tables as an indicator to play or not to play.

One thing to remember, do not do this exercise when you have a cold or when you know one of your nostrils is physically blocked. I just have to mention this.

Next time you are getting ready for a session make a conscious effort to do this. All it takes is 60 seconds to balance your brain, relax your mind and body and have your energy flowing though out your body as you make your way to the craps pit.

Iíll end this article with the same way I ended my last article about the importance of breathing and state that, for me, it is so humbling how the simple human breath can define my path to success in this game.
Soft Touch

Opportunities are often things you haven't noticed the first time around. - Catherine Deneuve -

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