Yoga promotes a number of breathing practices or pranayama. One exercise is the nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing), and as the name suggests, it works by alternately breathing thru one nostril at a time. It promotes relaxation and helps lower stress levels.
In the practice of yoga, nadi shodhana works by regulating “hot” and “cold” air flow into the body with the end in view of creating a level of relaxed awareness.
The Nadi Shodhana Exercise:
Begin by sitting quietly (you can do this anywhere; no mat required).
- Bring your right hand up to your nose and move your forefinger and middle finger out of the way
- Cover your right nostril with your thumb. With eyes closed exhale fully and slowly through your left nostril.
- After the exhale, release your right nostril and cover your left nostril with your ring finger.
- Breathe in deeply and slowly from the right side. Once you’ve inhaled completely, exhale through your right nostril.
- Release your ring finger and close your right nostril with your thumb again.
- Breathe in fully and exhale fully from your left nostril.
- Repeat the the cycle three or more times
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