Alternate nostril breathing is known in the yoga world as Nadi Shohan Pranayama (nadi = subtle energy channel, shodhan = cleaning and purification, pranayama = breathing).
I personally find this type of breathing really helps to calm my mind and release stress and anxiety. It can also help to clear out and balance blocked energy channels, allowing energy to flow smoothly throughout the body. In addition, it harmonises the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.
Put around three or four minutes aside to practice this and then sit comfortably with a straight back.
· Take your right hand and place your ring finger on your left nostril. Then place your thumb on your right nostril.
· You will use your ring finger to open and close your left nostril and you will use your thumb to open and close your right nostril.
· Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril.
· Now breathe in from the left nostril.
· Then press the left nostril gently closed with your ring finger. Remove your right thumb from your right nostril, and breathe out from your right nostril.
· Breathe in from the right nostril, then push down with your thumb and lift your ring finger, allowing you to exhale from your left nostril.
· Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.
Keep this going for three or four minutes. Remember to breathe in from the same nostril from which you exhaled. Keep your eyes closed throughout and continue taking long, deep, sMooth breaths without any force or effort.
Lindsay Heath is a hypnotherapist and energy healer helping people to achieve lasting change. Find out more.