Alternate nostril breathing is an ancient breathing technique used to restore balance in the body. In yoga, it is also known as Nadi Shodhan and is believed to cleanse the body’s energy channels.
As with most breathing exercises, it can help us to reduce stress and anxiety and allow us to feel calm and relaxed. This practice is unique in the sense that it brings balance to your body. On a practical level, you create balance by breathing through each nostril. On a spiritual level, this also balances your energy. In yoga, it’s believed that alternate nostril breathing balances your nadis (energy channels) which helps your prana (life force energy) to flow through your body more easily.
Want to give it a go? Follow these steps:
1. Hold your right hand in front of your nose and place your index and middle finger to your palm.
2. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril.
3. Release your thumb and close your left nostril with your ring finger.
4. Exhale through your left nostril then inhale before changing sides.
5. Continue breathing and alternating sides.