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Alternate nostril breathing

Lady performing alternative nostril breathing.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Nadi Shodhana also known as alternate nostril breathing, is a form of Yogic breathing. To break the name down: Firstly, the word Nadi comes from the Sanskrit language meaning ‘flow’ or ‘channel.’ Secondly, Shodhana means ‘cleaning’ or ‘purifying.’ Nadi Shodhana settles the mind, body, and soul and relieves stress and anxiety. We love this type of breathing because you can feel the benefits of it straight away. Here are three benefits of alternate nostril breathing:

Enhance brain function

By embracing this practice into your life, you can sharpen your concentration and clear your mind. Alternate nostril breathing sends equal amounts of oxygen to both hemispheres of the brain resulting in the merger of the left ‘thinking’ side and the right ‘feeling’ side. As a result, this leaves your mind focused and energized.

Calm your mind

If you are an anxious person, this practice can help settle your mind’s stress by preventing overthinking. It is believed that you can control your mind if you regulate your breath.

Improve sleep quality

If you struggle to fall asleep at night, alternate nostril breathing can help. Practicing this soothes the mind by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. This slows you and your heart rate down and leaves you more relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.

Practicing alternate nostril breathing.

Begin by finding a quiet, calm space where you feel comfortable. Sit either on a chair, cushion, or the floor with a straight spine. Place your left hand on your knee, or in a mudra. With your right hand gently place your thumb on your right nostril, your index finger, and your middle finger on your third eye chakra. Then gently place your ring finger on the left nostril.

Close your eyes, press your thumb into your right nostril and take a long deep breath in through the left nostril. Press your ring finger into your left nostril and hold your breath for a short pause. Before releasing your thumb and exhaling slowly through your right nostril. Keeping your ring finger on the left nostril, inhale through the right nostril, and then gently squeeze it closed with your thumb. Again hold for a moment, before releasing your ring finger and exhaling through the left nostril. Repeat this between 5-10 times.

alternate nostril breathing

Bring peace to your life

We love the alternate nostril breathing technique, and when anxiety or stress comes knocking, this is the ideal exercise to do. It may not remove the stressors, but it will bring you calm and allow you that break to look at things with fresh eyes. Find yourself a quiet place and carve a few moments out of your day to practice this technique and show yourself some self-care.

For more lifestyle and wellness tips check out our blog. And if you are looking for more information on how to get a good night’s sleep. Take a look at our blog “8 natural remedies to improve your sleep“. Plus don’t forget to tag us in any pictures of you practicing this technique on Instagram @surrender_to_happiness. And if you’d like to cement this practice into your daily rituals then take a look at our blog ‘Introducing daily rituals into your life.’

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