which may also help to:
- raise the efﬁciency of your breathing,
- improve your ability to solve problems,
- improve sleep
- encourage a calmer emotional state
- calm an agitated mind and
- boost your thinking
What is this miraculous thing…?
Well, its not some hi-tech pharmaceutical drug or some prohibitively expensive course of therapy on some tropical island; its actually free, easy to do and at the tip of your nose. Its called Alternate Nostril Breathing and its a its a method of breathing that is so very easy to do in only a few minutes a day, but which has some amazing health benefits.
Why is it Important? Alternate Nostril Breathing has been performed by Yogis for millennia. In Sanskrit, this method of breath control is called Nadi Shodhana and it involves unilaterally breathing through the right and then left nostril. However, the power of this form of breathing has only relatively recently come to the attention of Western cultures. Research in the late 90′s showed that Alternate Nostril Breath improved the balance of activity between the left and right brain hemispheres. We have learned that breathing through the right nostril fires up the sympathetic nervous system and left hemisphere of the brain, whilst breathing through the left nostril activates the and right hemisphere of the brain and the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the relaxation response. Practiced (once or thrice) daily for a few minutes, your mind will become clearer.
So what do you need to do? Well…
- Sit comfortably, ideally on the floor to ground and centre yourself.
- To prepare, gently place your right thumb against your right nostril and your ring finger against your left nostril.
- Breathe normally
- Then press your thumb against the side of your right nostril to close it and breathe slowly in through your left nostril. Then close your left nostril by pressing on the side of your nose with your ring finger whilst releasing your right nostril and slowly breathe out through your right nostril.
- Then breathe in through your right nostril, close it with your thumb and then release your finger from the side of your left nostril and breathe out through your left nostril.
- Continue in this manner for as long as is comfortable.
Whilst my wife Debbie was recovering from, she used this method of relaxation regularly to help balance and clear her mind and also felt the practice helped her to deal with anxiety and stressful thoughts about her condition and her future. It only takes a few moments each day but I think the results are far reaching 🙂 Do let me know how you get on with it and what benefits you experience by commenting below 🙂