Breathing properly can reduce your stress levels, improve your workouts and boost your immunity to infections and illnesses. Poor breathing can lead to panic attacks and even conditions like insomnia and depression. By learning how to breathe you can
1. Revitalize yourself
A few rounds of alternate nostril breathing is a quick pick me up if you are feeling flat, tired or even stressed. It provides your body with a much needed dose of extra energy.
2. Improve the brain function
When you 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. Five minutes of alternate nostril breathing before an exam or interview is a great way to access your whole brain for improved performance. Remember the brain loses hydration first so drink water as well.
3. Cleane your lungs
A daily five minute practice morning and night of alternate nostril breathing is great way to remove stale air and impurities from the bottom of your lungs.
4. Calm an agitated mind
I’m prone to worrying. A few minutes of focused alternate nostril breathing is helpful (for me) in calming my “over thinking” and “over-doing” mind.
The ancient yogis believe that if you can regulate your breath, then you can control your mind.
5. Merge the left “thinking” brain and right “feeling brain
Alternate nostril breathing optimizes both sides of your brain so you can access your whole brain, and all the benefits that go with it.
Try it out next time you need to drive your car. Cover your left nostril with your thumb and breathe only through your right nostril for one minute. This should keep you more alert when driving.
6. Encourage a calmer emotional state
In times of emotional distress and upset, a few rounds of mindful nostril breathing will soften the intensity of over reactive emotional states. The longer you practice, the more stable your thinking, and the calmer your emotions will become.
7. Improve sleep
If you can’t sleep at night lay on your right hand side, gently close your right nostril with your right thumb and breath through your left nostril. This will activate your parasympathetic nervous system which will calm you down and slow your heart rate. Left nostril breathing is cooling, calming and nourishing for your whole being.
8. Prepare for meditation
Alternate nostril breathing is a simple little trick that can be practiced for a few minutes before you begin your meditation practice
9. Soothe your nervous system
By focusing on your breath and deepening it, your brain will register this message and trigger the parasympathetic nervous system
10. Regulate the cooling and warming cycles of the body
11. Clear and boost your energy channels
Slightly forced alternate nostril breathing improves and directs the flow of energy throughout your body – preventing sluggishness. It oxygenates your blood and allows the energy (prana) in your body to be strong and flowing.
12. Enhances rest and relaxation
A restless mind cannot relax. Alternate nostril breathing melts away an imbalances between the right and left hemisphere of your brain and calms your thinking.