Alternate Nostril Breathing

The practice of alternate nostril breathing is commonly part of the yoga practice and offers tremendous benefits to those who choose to use it. To begin, you simply start by sitting down in an easy pose with your spine kept straight and shoulders down. Using the right thumb, close the right nostril, making sure the rest of the fingers is pointing upwards. Inhale using the left nostril, and then close it using the pinky on your right hand. Exhale through your right nostril.

alternate nostril breathing

Repeat the process by inhaling through your right nostril. Always remember to inhale from the nostril where you last exhaled from. Continue the process for about 2 to 3 minutes and slowly extend it from there. For those who are not quite familiar with yoga, this process may seem tedious and irrelevant. This is why it is extremely important to point out the various tremendous benefits that everyone can get when they practice alternate nostril breathing.

Enhancement of Brain Functions

One of the best reasons to practice alternate nostril breathing is the way it helps to improve the overall function of the brain. Usually, when the brain is dull, a person encounters problems in concentration and clarity, which will affect the way he functions. By using this breathing technique, the level of oxygen to both hemispheres will be enhanced allowing for better brain functions.

Many yoga practitioners suggest using this breathing technique five minutes before taking an examination to benefit from improved performance. By merging the thinking and feeling sides of the brain, it is easy to deduce the amount of benefits a healthy functioning brain can deliver. The good news is that this breathing technique can also be used to activate a specific part of the brain only, depending on a particular situation.

For example, covering your left nostril with your thumb and breathing solely from your right nostril for a minute will enhance your alertness when driving a vehicle. This is a good way to combat sleepiness while behind the wheel, especially, during long drives. Furthermore, the balanced delivery of oxygen also benefits the lungs and removes any impurities in both lungs that may have accumulated during the day.

Achieve a Calmer Disposition

There is no denying that we live in a world that is full of stress, which unfortunately contributes to the degradation of our health as well as puts a negative influence on the way we deal with other people, even our family. By practicing this breathing technique, you will be able to achieve a calmer disposition that will relax your mind and free it from worry and anxiety. Traditionally, yoga has taught how regulating breathing leads to greater control over the mind.

The alternate nostril breathing is therefore extremely beneficial in times when emotional distress is being experienced by a person. By using this breathing technique, the intensity of the excessively reactive emotional state can be softened and eventually negated. In fact, the longer the breathing technique is practiced, the better stability the mind goes into, which results in a calmer disposition and controlled emotions.

It is inevitable that we often tend to be upset about various life conditions. Going through a few rounds of this breathing technique will help you to cope better, and make more sensible decisions on how to react to the situation that has caused you to become upset. Even when facing an important meeting that can cause you to be nervous, you will find immense benefits from this yoga practice.

Basically, by focusing and deepening your breathing, you will be able to successfully sooth the nervous system because your brain will be able to receive messages clearer compared to being in a stressed state. Using the left nostril to breathe can direct oxygen to flow to the right hemisphere of the brain to initiate relaxation and begin the proper buildup of energy. This yoga practice also contributes to enhancing the overall sleep experience. Enhanced sleep is often attributed to the balance achieved in both brain hemispheres, which makes rest and relaxation state easier to reach.

Have a Stronger Mental State

It has already been established how this breathing technique benefits both hemispheres of the brain. Therefore, one of the known benefits of this yoga practice is the enhanced mental state it brings to a person making them avoid being mentally dull. By altering the mental state of a person through this breathing technique, he can become more productive and contribute heavily to whatever task he is trying to achieve.

Those who are facing difficulty in meditating or clearing their mind can use this yoga practice. With just a few minutes of this breathing technique before practicing meditation, people can easily find themselves in a calmer and more peaceful state of mind that is essential to a successful meditative state.

Improve Overall Bodily Functions

This breathing technique does not only pose tremendous benefits to the brain, but also to the entire body as well. There is no doubt that it can help in revitalizing those who often feel tired or weighed down after a long day at the office. Through this yoga practice, it is easier to get boosts of energy, from a healthier source. It delivers the boost by clearing the energy channels of the body.

By using a slightly forced version of the alternate nostril breathing, you will find improved direction of the flow of energy in your entire body. This is a good way to prevent sluggishness, as oxygen begins to flow correctly and freely to make your body stronger. This yoga practice also helps in regulating body temperature to help you feel warmer or cooler depending on the specific weather condition you are currently in. The left nostril is for cooling, while the right nostril is for heating.

There is no doubt that these are four tremendous benefits that anyone can receive when they practice alternate nostril breathing.

Nadi Shodhana - Alternate Nostril Breathing Video
VIDEO - Nadi Shodhana is a breathing yogi technique known as alternate nostril breathing that can decrease your resting heart rate in just six weeks. Here is a video on Nadi Shodhana.

Related Links