One of my favourite pranayama
breathing practices is Nadi Shodhana, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing.
It is a powerful breathing technique from the yogic tradition known to help regulate the nervous system and to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
It’s a practice that you can use with yoga, and also in your everyday life. Anytime you find yourself feeling frazzled or anxious, try a few rounds of Alternate Nostril Breathing to reset and recover your sense of balance.
Today I invite you to try this practice, and to experience it with a beginner’s mind, even if you’ve done it many times before. Notice the sensations of the breath, notice and honour any feelings that arise, and observe the effect on your energy. HERE’S HOW TO DO ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING
- Sit comfortably in an upright position.
- Use your right hand, your thumb and ring finger to alternate the flow of breath through your nostrils. If you wish, you can rest your index and middle finger on your forehead, at the level of your third eye.
- To begin, block your right nostril, just under the bridge of your nose, with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril.
- Switch, block your left nostril with your ring finger. Exhale through the right nostril
- Inhale through the right nostril. Switch, block the right nostril with your thumb. Exhale through the left nostril.
- Inhale through the left nostril. Switch, block the left nostril with your right finger. Exhale through the right nostril.
- Continue in this pattern of alternate nostril breathing, relaxing into the rhythm.
- The last time you breath out through your left nostril (which is where you began), pause for a moment, then enjoy the full breath in. Breath
- This initial practice could be 3 minutes long. Once you have mastered the technique you can practice with a timer anywhere from 3-11 minutes.
DID YOU KNOW?
The left nostril is the lunar/feminine energy nostril, and the right nostril is the sun/masculine energy. On a day you are feeling sluggish and tired, try breathing for 3 minutes in through the right nostril and out through the left nostril and notice how you feel after. On a day you are feeling wound-up, anxious, or restless, try breathing for 3 minutes in through the left (lunar) nostril and out through the right (solar) nostril, and notice how you feel.
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