Alternate Nostril Breathing (nadi shodhana)
Alternate nostril breathing is a simple breathing technique you can use to relieve mild anxiety and depression. It only takes a few minutes a day and you can do it anywhere. Additional benefits of alternate nostril breathing include:
- Focusing the mind.
- Improving lung and respiratory functions.
- Restoring balance in the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
- Removing toxins.
- Helps relieve congestion.
Practicing Nadi Shodhana
1. Sit on the floor or in a comfortable chair with a straight bake, making sure your spine is straight.
2. Rest your left palm comfortably in your lap and bring your right hand just in front of your face.
3. Form mrigi mudra (deer mudra) with your right hand. You can rest your 4th finger and little finger on your forehead between your eyebrows as shown below.
4. With your eyes closed or open, take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
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5. Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.
6. Close the left nostril with your 4th (ring) finger so both nostrils are held closed. Hold your breath a few seconds.
7. Open your right nostril and slowly exhale completely through the right nostril. Pause a few seconds.
8. Inhale through the right side slowly.
9. Hold both nostrils closed.
10. Open your left nostril and exhale slowly and completely through your left nostril. Pause a few seconds.
11. Repeat for 5 to 10 cycles, and try to extend the time it takes to slowly inhale and exhale.
Steps 5 through 10 is one complete cycle. One cycle takes 30 to 40 seconds. The goal is to slow your breathing and calm your mind.