In 3 Breathing Exercises for Relaxation Part 2, WU World Changer Cindy Bartz shares her second recommended breath practice, alternate nostril breathing. Late joining this series? Catch up on Part 1!
3 Breathing Exercises for Relaxation Part 2: Alternate Nostril Breathing
In Part 1 of this series you learned an easy, yet powerful breathing technique that you can use when waiting in traffic, prior to public speaking, when frustrated as well as before starting a difficult or challenging task.
In this article, Part 2 of this series, you will learn a technique that dates back thousands of years and is used to calm and balance the mind. In fact, this technique has been medically proven to balance the left and right hemispheres of your brain!
This is one of my favorite techniques; it is easy to learn and is especially helpful when your mind is going a mile a minute, and you need to slow down, focus and concentrate. It also is a great exercise to incorporate after doing a great deal of work heavy on either the left or right hemisphere of the brain.
Breath Exercise #2: Alternate Nostril Breathing:
- Sit comfortably without slouching.
- Use your thumb to gently close off the RIGHT nostril and inhale through the LEFT.
- Close off both the RIGHT and LEFT, count to 3 as you hold the inhalation.
- Use your ring finger to gently close off the LEFT nostril, release the thumb on the RIGHT nostril and exhale completely.
- Keeping the LEFT nostril closed off, inhale through the RIGHT nostril.
- Close off both the RIGHT and LEFT nostrils, count to 3 as you hold the inhalation.
- Use your thumb to gently close off the RIGHT nostril, release the ring finger and exhale completely.
- Start with 5 minutes; begin with inhaling through the LEFT nostril. End by exhaling through the LEFT nostril.
I like this breath because I feel it balancing, centering and calming my mind. When you get done with the practice take a few moments to sit quietly and notice how you feel.
When to Use this Breath Technique:
- After completing a task that is primarily left brained (accounting, working an excel spreadsheet, working on the computer, researching, statistics, analyzing).
- Before lunch and dinner.
- Before practicing yoga, tai chi or qigong.
- Before meditating.
- To calm, relax and balance the mind from chaotic thinking.
By practicing this breathing exercise, you will physically balance the brain. You will feel different after practicing this technique; your mind will be much more relaxed, balanced and centered.
I’d love for you to write a comment on this post and share your experiences with this breathing exercise. Did you feel different after practicing the technique? Did it help you to balance and center you?
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series next week where you will learn another powerful breathing exercise to recharge your body when you are feeling tired or sluggish.
Want to learn how specific breath exercises can prevent disease? Download my free book, “Boost Your Immune System.”
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