Alternate nostril breathing is a breathing technique popular to yoga enthusiasts. This technique is said to help keep the mind calm, peaceful, and happy. With just a few minutes of practice, you can feel these effects.
Alternate nostril breathing is called Nadi Shodhana in which nadi means channel for subtle energy, while shodhana means purification or cleaning.
Benefits of Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing is extremely therapeutic as it can calm you down, especially when you feel that you’re not in a good place. Therefore, this technique is great for people with anxiety disorder. But apart from this benefit, there are more reasons why you should learn how to do this method:
- Alternate nostril breathing can revitalize you whenever you are feeling lazy, tired, or stressed because it can provide extra energy.
- Sometimes, we feel that our mind is dull where concentration becomes difficult and everything is hazy. With this breathing technique, you can experience improved brain function. This is why it is recommended to be practiced five minutes before an exam or a job interview.
- This breathing technique is also good for your lungs as it helps remove impurities and stale air.
- If you’re prone to worrying, just a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing will help you control your mind and calm you down. This lets you avoid overthinking and overdoing things.
- If you’re having trouble sleeping, you can do this breathing technique to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, this will help you relax and slow your heart rate.
With all these benefits, you’re probably curious now about how you can perform this great breathing technique. It is actually quite simple; follow the steps below:
1. Find a place where you can sit comfortably and where you can relax your mind. A quiet environment can help you speed things up as you breathe normally for a minute or two.
2. Put your left hand on top of your knee or your lap and leave it there.
3. Use your right hand to create a peace sign and fold those two extended fingers in the direction of your palm. Then, place your thumb on your right nostril and for your left nostril, press it with your ring finger.
4. Inhale through your left nostril when your right nostril is closed by your right thumb. Do this with your eyes closed. Make sure you do everything without straining on your nostril, so be very gentle and inhale as softly as possible.
5. Now, close your left nostril using your ring finger and breathe through your right nostril. Once again, be gentle and breathe slowly and softly.
6. Repeat the 4th step to complete one round of alternate nostril breathing.
You can continue for as long as you like, but if this is your first time, three to five minutes would be an ideal starting point. After you’re done with alternate nostril breathing practice, relax your arms and put them at your sides. Breathe naturally again like how you started.