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Alternate Nostril Breathing

Angle-Based Images: Alternate Nostril Breathing Video
Angle-Based Images: Alternate Nostril Breathing Video
Angle-Based Images: Alternate Nostril Breathing Video
Angle-Based Images: Alternate Nostril Breathing Video
Angle-Based Images: Alternate Nostril Breathing Video
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step 1
Step 1 Begin in Easy Seat and close your eyes.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step 2
Step 2 Allow your left hand to lie face down on your left thigh. Extend your fingers on your right hand like you are waving at someone.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step 3
Step 3 Bend your peace fingers—pointer and middle finger—so they curl into your palm.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step 4
Step 4 Rest your right ring finger and thumb on either side of your nostrils, lightly touching them but not constricting.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step 5
Step 5 Take a big breath in and a big breath out, then close off the right nostril with your thumb and inhale through the left nostril fully for a count of four.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step 6
Step 6 At the top of that breath, close off the left nostril with your ring finger, hold and retain the breath for a count of four.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step 7
Step 7 Release the right nostril and exhale for a count of four.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step 8
Step 8 Inhale deeply for a count of four through the right nostril, close it off, hold and retain the breath for a count of four.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step 9
Step 9 Release the left nostril as you exhale completely through it for a count of four. Proceed to inhale deeply through the left, repeating the cycle. The count of breath can be as long as you like, keeping the inhales, retention, and exhales even. Do this as many rounds as you like, being sure to exhale through the left nostril to complete your last cycle.
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Progressions & Variations

Beginner Tips

Only take breaths and retentions for as long as is comfortable for you.

Tips

If you cannot breathe through your nose at all, avoid this technique.

Benefits

Alternate Nostril Breathing encourages deep relaxation due to the belief that it balances the left and right sides of the brain while calming the nervous system. It is said to lower the heart rate, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve respiration and circulation.

Modifications

If Easy Seat is not comfortable for you, sit anyway that is comfortable for you.

Related Exercises

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