A NEW STUDY from Johns Hopkins University concluded:
Just 30 minutes of daily meditation can lower anxiety and depression levels up to 38%—about the same amount as an antidepressant.
Your nose is directly linked to your brain and nervous system. For thousands of years the Indian yogis believe that most diseases are connected to disturbed nasal breathing.
Breathing in through your left nostril will access the right “feeling” hemisphere of your brain, and breathing in through your right nostril, will access the left “thinking” hemisphere of your brain. Consciously alternating your breath between either nostril will allow you to activate and access your whole brain.
Yogic breathing, the perfect relaxation tool:
There are high impact, hard to do’s. Low impact, hard to do’s and Low impact, easy to do’s. I like to focus on the high impact, easy to do’s first with clients as baby steps as part of the big picture of the wellness plan I customize for them.
Alternate nostril breathing is one of those HIGH IMPACT, easy to do tactics, and is considered one of the most therapeutic calming rituals. It’s the very reason I include it at the beginning and ending of EVERY yoga class I teach. It profoundly helps to settle, cool, calm and nourish an agitated mind and wired nervous system. Even after only two minutes you can feel and notice a distinct difference as to how you feel.
5 benefits of alternate nostril breathing:
1: Gives you energy:
A few rounds of alternate nostril breathing is a quick pick me up if you are feeling flat, tired or even stressed. Save yourself $6 every morning on coffee, and learn to breathe like this, and you’ll save yourself about $2500 per year in stimulant expenses!
2: Makes your smarter and improves your mood:
When your mind is dull – concentration and clarity is poor. Alternate nostril breathing brings equal amounts of oxygen to both sides of the brain for improved brain function. HYDRATION: Remember the brain loses hydration first so drink water as well.
8 of 10 of us today are stressed out about our jobs!
Good for Type A, overwhelmed “over thinking” and “over-doing” mind. The ancient yogis believe that if you can regulate your breath, then you can control your mind, especially when you’re feeling life is upside down! 🙂 Inversions are a great way to slow your heart rate too!
3: DETOX – It cleanses your lungs:
Remove stale air and impurities from the bottom of your lungs. The Tao of Natural Breathing by Dennis Lewis indicates that some 70% of our body’s waste and toxins are eliminated via our lungs.
4: Improves sleep by Soothing Your Nervous System:
If you can’t sleep at night lay on your right close your right nostril with your right thumb and breath through your left nostril. Why? It activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which will calm you down and slow your heart rate. Left nostril breathing is super cymbalta cooling, calming and nourishing. 9 million Americans take sleeping prescription drugs to sleep and I can almost guarantee you that most of those have not tried breathing strategies like this before they resorted to meds.
A startling study in 2012 revealed that people who take sleeping pills are not only at higher risk for certain cancers (35 percent higher), but they are also 4 times likely to die as people who don’t take them. Other common side effects are:
- Increased insulin resistance, food cravings, weight gain and diabetes
- Depression, confusion, disorientation, and hallucinations
- Digestive dysfunction, which is what I see a lot. Prescription drugs destroy the lining of our intestines so we can’t assimilate nutrients from food, which taxes the adrenals and causes imbalances in our hormones, 1 being melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycles and tells us when to fall asleep and stay asleep. No wonder why we’re so tired, so you see the downward spiral?
5: OXYGENATES your blood and brain & Regulates the temp of the body.
20% of Americans are estimated to have Hypothyroid Disease, which slows our metabolism, inspires fat storage/weight gain, and paves the way for pathogens and bad bugs to thrive. This breathing relieves the wired and tired feeling many have today: Physically exhausted but the mind is still running a marathon all day long.
Remember: Left nostril is feminine, nurturing, calm, receiving and cooling. Right nostril is masculine, heat, competitive, doing, active and force. Favoring one nostril more than the other can effect the heat or coolness of your body. I tend to be a ‘colder’ person, so I like to activate my right nostril to heat up my body. But then, when I sleep, breathe through my left nostril more to activate the right side of the brain to calm my mind. So you see, both have benefits so balancing them is key!
So…How do I do it?
Step one: Use right thumb to close off right nostril.
Step two: Inhale slowly through left nostril
Step three: Pause for a second
Step four: Now close left nostril with ring finger and release thumb off right nostril
Step five: Exhale through your right nostril
Step six: Now, inhale through right nostril
Step seven: Pause
Step eight: Use thumb to close of right nostril
Step nine: Breathe out through left nostril
Step ten: This is one round. Start slowly with 1 or 2 rounds and gradually increase. Never force. Sit quietly for a few moments after you have finished.
There are many, many different techniques of pranayama such as inhaling for 4, holding for 4 and exhaling for 4.
Do not hold your breath if you have high blood pressure. More advanced methods of pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) need to be practiced with an experienced practitioner. Practicing on an empty stomach is preferred so your body is focused only on breathe and lung purification rather than a side job to digestion.
Will you try this? 🙂
NAMASTE and SWEET DREAMS!