How to: Pranayama / Alternate Nostril Breathing
Pranayama is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Everyone breathes, but not everyone does it correctly, consciously, deeply or effectively.
Alternate Nostril Breathing, called Pranayama in Sanskrit, is the ancient form of deep breathing passed down through thousands of years that today serves as a simple tool for balancing your Nadi's [subtle channels / both sides of the body], for instantly calming yourself down and bringing you back to your center, for improved sleep and treating insomnia, for a whole body detoxification and for deep, meditative relaxation.
The technique is simple.
1. Begin by pinching your nostrils with your right hand, using your thumb to cover your right nostril and your ring finger to cover your left.
2. Release your thumb and breathe slowly and deeply through your right nostril, filling your belly and maximizing the amount of air that you can hold in your lungs. Pause.
3. Cover your right nostril with your thumb and release your index finger, exhaling slowly through your left nostril at the same pace as your slow inhale. Exhale fully, emptying your belly and your lungs. Pause.
4. Take another slow, conscious, paced, deep breath into your belly through your left nostril, still left uncovered. Breathe fully, using your entire lung capacity. Pause.
5. Cover your left nostril with your ring finger once again and release your thumb, exhaling slowly through your right nostril. Empty fully and pause.
6. This is one Pranayama breath.
Pranayama as a daily practice has profound benefits on our health and especially on our ability to release stress, reach alignment within ourselves and improve the way we experience our day to day. We forget to breathe, we certainly don't breathe deeply and most of us almost never breathe consciously, yet our breath alone is what we always return to when we need grounding and calming. It is THE trick to try when you cannot sleep or are feeling restless before bed, THE tool to use when you are anxious, nervous, stressed or cannot calm yourself down, and THE simplest way to practice active meditation.
Add Pranayama to your morning and bedtime routine and watch your life transform. Start with 10 breaths, twice a day.
The impact it will have on your mind - body - spirit will astound you.