Alternate Nostril Breathing to Relax

Background:

This seemingly silly breathing method has been used for thousands of years in yoga practice and other practices throughout the world. Help us make it a little more mainstream. This breathing method is simple.

Who this is for:

Anyone that is feeling stress in their body and needs to ground down and relax.

When to do this:

Anytime you have 5 minutes

Method:

Breath through your nose only for 5 minutes.

Use your right hand and place your right thumb on your right nostril, and right index finger on your left nostril, and your index and middle fingers will rest on your eyebrow throughout.

Block your right nostril and inhale through your left.

Pause briefly at the top, unblock your right nostril and block you left.

Breath out slowly through your right nostril.

Lather, rinse, and repeat for 5 minutes

Why it works:

This works because your body and brain are hardwired to prefer to breath through your nose as you’ve seen posted repeatedly on this content page. But they also have a preference as to which side of the nose you are breathing out for activation or deactivation of your sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic nervous systems (rest and digest). You may have noticed that your body alternates throughout the day with slight constriction of one nostril while allowing free breathing through the other. This is the body naturally cycling through times of the day where you need more activation or less activation of your nervous system to work throughout the day. It isn’t something weird, you aren’t getting a cold, its just how the body naturally works. The body does not want to stay in one activated state or another, it wants to activate, then clam. That’s how stress should work, you activate when you need it, then calm afterward so you can recover. This is where most people miss the boat. They get the skills to tough out stress, but they under develop their relax, rest, digest part and this leaves them tired, grumpy, and just not operating at peak effectiveness.

Brian McCarroll