Nothing like a mini panic attack to put a damper on your day - am I right? We all handle stress differently, and some of us much better than others. If you have anxiety or get stressed out easily - and are looking for a simple way to relax sans wine - we’ve got you covered. Alternate nostril breathing is an easy breathing technique that will increase relaxation in a snap.
We first learned about alternate nostril breathing in a yoga class, and were shocked to feel more relaxed just a few minutes into it. The formal name for this type of breathing is Nadi Shodhana, which translates to “clearing the channels of circulation.” The idea is that by clearing out your body’s channels of circulation (by regulating airflow through your nostrils), you’ll be able to clear out any negative energy. Alternating your breathing through each nostril also promotes balance, which can help decrease those overwhelming feelings that come along with stress.
We’re not going to lie, the convenience factor alone had us sold. You don’t need any special equipment, and you can do this anywhere - even at your desk or in your car! So how do you perform this breathing technique?
How to perform alternate nostril breathing:
1. In a comfortable seated position, place your right index and middle finger between your eyebrows, and let your ring finger and pinkie finger rest on your left nostril, your thumb on your right nostril.
2. Exhale through your left nostril while pressing your right nostril closed with your thumb.
2. Breathe in through the left nostril and then press it closed with your ring finger
3. Let your thumb release from your right nostril and exhale through the right nostril
4. Breathe in through the right nostril, then close it with your thumb while releasing your left nostril and exhaling on the left side
Repeat these steps up to 10 times for the ultimate calming experience.
Have you tried this (or similar) breathing techniques to increase relaxation? If you have, we’d love to hear about it!