how to: alternate nostril breathing

By paying attention to our breath, our bodies, the environment, and those we love, we can stay connected to the beauty surrounding us. Conscious breathing is a must-have addition to the 5,000-year-old practice of yoga. While practicing the alternate nostril breath, I immediately feel lighter, calmer, more grounded – within a matter of seconds. This little gem comes in handy in all situations. Sure you may have to excuse yourself from a public place, but just a few moments alone with this breath will prove fruitful. Follow these simple steps and enjoy having tranquility within reach .

Let’s get started. Come to a comfortable position and connect with your breath. Notice your inhale and your exhale. Place your right middle and index finger to your eyebrow center so that your thumb, ring, and pinky fingers are free. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Close your left nostril with your ring finger, release the right nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril and then close the right nostril to exhale through the left nostril. Inhale through your left nostril and then close the left nostril to exhale through the right nostril. Continue this pattern back and forth until it feels natural. Then inhale to a count of 4, 5, or 6, and exhale evenly so that your breath becomes long, deep, and smooth.

This simple breath technique can create calm in preparation for your last summer hurrah. Alternate nostril breathing balances both sides of the brain and assists with calming the mind and the nervous system. You can’t go wrong with this little tranquil tip.

Omwork (homework with a yogic twist): Practice this breath while waiting in traffic, standing in line at the grocery store, or gearing up for a challenging meeting.

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