Alternate Nostril Breathing

Breathing Technique


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For this exercise we’re gonna be breathing through the nose, and alternating between each nostril by placing your finger or thumb to block the other one.

  1.  Sit on the floor or in a chair, or stand with your feet planted on the ground.
  2. Hold your thumb and pointer finger in a kind of ‘U’ shape, with your hand in front of your mouth, and these two fingers at either side of the nose. 
  3. Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale slowly through your left nostril.
  4. Release your thumb as you block your left nostril with your right index finger. Exhale slowly through the right nostril.
  5. Pause, then inhale slowly through your right nostril. 
  6. Release your index finger as you block your right nostril with your thumb again. Exhale slowly through the left nostril.
  7. After a pause, inhale slowly through your left nostril.
  8. Continue to alternate your breathing in this way for 2-5 minutes. 
  9. 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? Remember that whatever comes up is okay, and if you can, just check in with yourself and see if there’s anything else you need in this moment.

( i )       When our nervous system experiences high levels of stress it can actually disrupt our ability to integrate the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which can affect our cognition and our ability regulate emotions.

Alternate nostril breathing is an exercise that uses our breath to restore  coordination and balance between the two hemispheres of the brain, and this in turn can help improve our ability to regulate the nervous system and return back to the green zone.