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Alternate Nostril Breathing

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Alternate Nostril Breathing

When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. — Author Unknown

  • 10 minutes
  • Easy


A calming breathing technique.

The Nadi Shodhan Pranayama is also known as alternate nostril breathing technique, which helps you clear blocked energy channels, so that you can calm your mind and feel relaxed, centred, and peaceful. It also helps you release accumulated tension and fatigue. Finally, this breathing technique is good at the beginning of a mindfulness meditation or yoga practice, as it helps you enter into a meditative state.

Caution: Do not force the breathing, let it flow gently and naturally. Remember that your exhalation should be longer than your inhalation.

*Image © Tariq Al-Olaimy



Setting up

Sit in a comfortable position, keeping your back straight yet relaxed. Relax your shoulders, increasing the space between your shoulders and your neck. Keep a gentle smile on your face and close your eyes. Place your left hand on the left knee, either keeping your palms open facing up or forming a circle with your thumb and index fingers touching at the tips.


Positioning the right hand

Now place the tip of the index and middle finger of the right hand in between your eyebrows, whereas the ring and little finger are on the left nostril and the thumb on the right nostril. You will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril.


Alternate breathing

Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril. Now breathe in from the left nostril to the count of 4 and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Hold your breath for 16 counts. Now removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right to the count of 8. At this point, breathe in from the right nostril (4 counts), hold your breath (16 counts), and exhale from the left (8 counts). You have now completed one round of Nadi Shodhan pranayama.



Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils for a total of 8 rounds.

Greta Rossi

Chief Empathy Officer at Akasha Innovation. Co-founder of ImpactAimers and Recipes for Wellbeing. Regional Coordinator for Ashoka's ChangemakerXchange. Youth coach and FRSA.

Mental rehearsal
Eye gazing meditation