Nadi Shodhana

November 10, 2019
Catriona McCormack

Alternate Nostril Breathing

You can use this breathing technique to help manage stresses in your daily life. You may also find that practicing alternate nostril breathing helps you to be more mindful of the present moment enhancing your experience of your life.


  • Relaxes the body and mind
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Supports your nervous system, helping with stress-management
  • Improves lung function
  • Helps to prevent sinus congestion
  • Improves cardiovascular
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Promotes overall well-being

These benefits, in turn, may help you to be more focused and aware.

You can do alternate nostril breathing at any time and place that feels most comfortable to you. You may find that you enjoy doing it in the morning or evening. A great time to do this to help you focus is before a meeting or a difficult situation. It can also be done during the day when you need to focus or relax, sitting down always.

Alternate nostril breathing is best done on an empty stomach. Don’t practice alternate nostril breathing if you’re sick or congested


  • Sit in a comfortable position with your legs crossed.
  • Place your left hand on your left knee.
  • Lift your right hand up toward your nose.
  • Exhale completely and then use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
  • Inhale through your left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers.
  • Open the right nostril and exhale through this side.
  • Inhale through the right nostril and then close this nostril.
  • Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side.
  • This is one cycle.
  • Continue for up to 5 minutes.
  • Always complete the practice by finishing with an exhale on the left side.

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