Alternate Nostril Breathing

Breathing Technique

  1. Sit up in a chair, or stand up, with your feet planted on the ground.
  2. Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale slowly through your left nostril.
  3. Release your thumb as you block your left nostril with your right index finger. Exhale slowly through the right nostril. 
  4. Pause, then inhale slowly through your right nostril. 
  5. Release your index finger as you block your right nostril with your thumb again. Exhale slowly through the left nostril.
  6. After a pause, inhale slowly through your left nostril.
  7. Continue to alternate your breathing in this way for 2-5 minutes. 
  8. Once you’ve finished, notice if anything is different from just a few moments ago. Are there any shifts, however tiny or subtle, in how your body feels? See if you can put words to what you notice, always remembering that whatever comes up is okay.

( i )      Alternate nostril breathing harmonises the whole nervous system and balances the activity of both hemispheres of the brain.

When our nervous systems experience high levels of stress or trauma it actually disrupts the brain’s ability to integrate the left and right hemispheres, which can affect our ability to think cognitively and regulate emotions.

Exercises that restore coordination between the two hemispheres can return our nervous system to the green zone and improve our ability to self-regulate.