Alternate Nostril Breathing, also known as Nadi Shodana, is a simple breathing exercise (or pranayama) that is helpful for relaxation and balancing the left and right sides of the brain. It creates equal balance in both nostrils, which helps calm the nervous system, easing anxiety. This pranayama helps you ground and center when feeling disconnected. It is a powerful way to focus the mind while connecting to the present moment. The powerful present moment is where we connect to unshakable inner peace, gain clarity and focus as the mind stills.
How To Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing
- Come into a comfortable seat, stand tall or lay in a supported reclined pose.
- Take a deep breath in and a slow breath out through both nostrils.
- Bring thumb and ring finger up to the nostrils. Close off one nostril and inhale through the open one.
- Hold the breath, close off that nostril as you open the other and exhale.
- Stay here with this nostril open and inhale fully.
- Close off this nostril and exhale through the other.
- Stay here, inhale.
- Close off nostril, exhale through the other.
- Continue to practice the pranayama for at least 8 cycles. (A cycle includes inhale/holding and exhale/holding on each side.)
When finished, breathe deeply in and out through both nostrils, sit or lay quietly, and breathe regularly as you notice how you feel.