Breathing - alternating nostril breathing
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 20:38 — Dr. Larrow
This simple breathing relaxation technique is a great way to start and even end your day. I have often done the alternating nostril breathing at yoga classes. The Indian yogis believe that breathing in through your left nostril will access the right hemisphere of your brain - your feelings, while breathing in through your right nostril will access the left hemisphere - your thinking. Thus if you alternate your breathing you will access your whole brain - thinking and feeling.
To do alternating nostril breathing you will use the thumb of your right hand (if you are right handed) cover your right nostril and breathe through your left nostril for a deep inhale. Once you have inhaled you then use your index finger to block the left nostril while you exhale through your right nostril. Then you will inhale through your right nostril and then exhale through your left. Continue alternating between nostrils for 1-2 cycles as you slowly build up to doing it for a few minutes. If you at all feel light headed, please stop and return to normal breathing.
There are many health benefits that you can get from this breathing, they include:
- Revitalizing you
- Improves brain activity
- Supports lungs
- Helps to calm your emotional state
- Improves sleeps
- Regulates cooling and warming cycles of the body
- Enhances relaxation
- And boost energy
Consider this simple little trick before a big meeting, as a recharging break in the middle of the morning, before going to sleep or even first thing before you get out of bed.
Anita M. Larrow, ND