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Alternate Nostril Breathing

 

 

Pranayama (breath exercise/breath control) can be used as a daily practice or as needed to balance the mind/body.  Breath control can both stimulate or calm the nervous system depending upon the specific exercise. 

 

Alternate Nostril Breathing (AKA Nadi Shodhana in Sanskrit) is a breath exercise that is used to cleanse the body, improve focus, create a sense of balance and calm within the mind and even soothe symptoms of stress and anxiety.  

 

To Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing:

 

Find yourself in a comfortable seated position.

 

Position your right hand by folding your pointer, middle and ring finger into your palm, leaving your thumb and pinky sticking up (some find it most comfortable to tuck the middle and pointer finger, leaving the thumb, ring and pinky finger up).

 

Bring your thumb to the right side of your nose and your pinky to the left side.

 

Close your eyes or take a soft gaze in front of you.

 

Close off your right nostril with your thumb.

 

Inhale through your left nostril.

 

Close off your left nostril with your pinky finger.

 

Release and exhale through your right nostril.

 

Inhale through your right nostril.

 

Close off your right nostril with your thumb.

 

Release and exhale through your left nostril.

 

Inhale through your left nostril.

 

Close off your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril.

 

Inhale through your right nostril.

 

Close off your right nostril, release your left nostril and exhale through your left nostril.

 

Continue for about 10 rounds or as long as feels comfortable.

 

If you notice your mind begins to wander, bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing on the words inhale and exhale or focus on the sensation of your breath as it enters (cool) and exits (warm) your nostrils. 

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