Dive Into Alternate Nostril Breathing for Added Health Benefits

Dive Into Alternate Nostril Breathing for Added Health Benefits

Alternate nostril breathing may sound like a weird thing that only yogis do, but it can have actual real health benefits. Even if it sounds a bit wacky, once you know how to do it you might wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. How can you possibly breathe well out of one nostril at a time, you might think, but it is possible to do it. Find out how you can increase your health with this simple exercise.

Why it Helps

Alternating your breath between nostrils in a regular pattern helps balance, relax, and calm your body. This method is taught to help you balance two sides of your brain and clear the nadis, which are energy channels running along the base of the spine. Research has borne out this belief by showing the breath can reduce blood pressure. If you are congested, this may help move things around so you can breathe easier.

Instructions for Breathing

Practice starting in a seated position. Be sure to get comfortable and use a chair if it helps. You will sit for several minutes so need good posture to get into the right space for this to work optimally. Follow these instructions:

  • Position your hand by folding your pointer and middle fingers into your palm, leaving your thumb, ring finger, and pinky up in the air.
  • Bring your thumb to the right side of your nose and ring finger up to the left side
  • Close your eyes or take a soft gaze down. Inhale and exhale once to prepare
  • Close off your right nostril with your thumb
  • Inhale through your left nostril
  • Close off your left nostril with your ring finger
  • Open and exhale through your right nostril
  • Inhale through the right nostril
  • Close off your right nostril with your thumb
  • Open and exhale through your left nostril
  • Inhale through your left nostril

Try to make a few rounds through this breath and add it up to 10 rounds for optimal health. You can take a break then resume the exercise. If your mind wanders, focus on counting the length of your inhales and exhales or the sensation of your breath on the skin under your nose. It will feel cool as you inhale and warm as you exhale. It is a good practice in patience and persistence if you want to try something that will help build focus and intention for better health.

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