Your eyes may be the gateway to your soul, but your nose is directly connected your brain and your nervous system. Yogis and intellectuals alike know that controlled breathing helps in a number of different way. You can keep your brain and body happy with proper breathing techniques.
One of these techniques is called Alternate Nostril Breathing (ANB). It is a therapeutic calming ritual that helps to settle, cool, calm, and nourished a stressed out mind and nervous system. Even just 2 minutes of Alternate Nostril Breathing can do wonders.
What Is Alternate Nostril Breathing?
As the name suggests, Alternate Nostril Breathing is making sure you use both nostrils to breathe – in through one side, and out through the other. When we breathe, we favor one nostril. This happens naturally, so we must use ANB to even our breathing.
Step 1: Use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
Step 2: Inhale slowly through left nostril.
Step 3: Pause for a second.
Step 4: Now close your left nostril with your ring finger and release your thumb from your right nostril.
Step 5: Exhale through your right nostril.
Step 6: Now, start from step 1, breathing through your right nostril.
This is one round. Start slowly with 1 or 2 rounds and gradually increase. Sit quietly for a few moments after you have finished.
Warning: If you have high blood pressure, don’t hold your breathe. Instead of pausing, simply exercise slower deep breathing.
Our right brain is connected to feeling, and our left brain is connected to thinking. When you consciously alternate your breathing through each nostril, you activate and access your entire brain. So how does this help you?
Follow Your Nose to Better Health
1. Get Revitalized
Alternate nostril breathing provides your body with a much needed dose of extra energy. It helps when you’re feeling flat or fatigued.
2. Improve Brain Function
Alternate nostril breathing brings equal amounts of oxygen to both sides of the brain to improve concentration and clarity. Your brain is the first thing to become dehydrated, so drink a glass of water, and practice ANB to boost brain power.
3. Cleanse Your Lungs
Alternate Nostril Breathing in the morning and at night time helps to purify your lungs. It removes stale air and actually helps reduce bodily waste.
4. Calm A Worried Mind
Focusing on breathing helps to focus fret. A few minutes of ANB keeps your brain from overthinking. The ancient yogis believe that if you regulate your breathing, you’ll regulate your mind.
5. Merge Your Thinking
ANB optimizes both sides of your brain. When you breathe in through your left nostril, you’re feeding the right – or the creative – brain. When you breathe through your right nostril, you’re feeding the left – or the logical – brain.
Alternate Nostril Breathing helps the two sides of your brain work together.
6. Calm Your Emotions
The longer you use Alternate Nostril Breathing, the more stable your thinking, and the calmer your emotions. You will be less impulsive and have more consideration, because your brain will be healthy and rested.
7. Soothe Your System
Focused and deepened breathing sends a message to your parasympathetic nervous system to switch from stressed to relaxation. Even better, closing your right nostril will direct oxygen and energy to your right brain, which enhances the parasympathetic response.
8. Regulate Your Temperature
The left nostril has feminine qualities: nurturing and calming it is receptive and cooling. The right nostril has more masculine qualities: heated and competitive it is active and controls force. Alternate Nostril Breathing affects the temperature of your body.
9. Clear and Boost Energy
ANB improves and directs the flow of energy in your body. It oxygenates your blood, allowing your energy to flow strong.