Alternate nostril breathing for stress relief

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Oxygen is the most important nutrient of the body – every cell needs it to function efficiently. The brain is the largest use of oxygen, even though it only takes up less than 5%  of the body’s total weight.

Breathing helps ingest oxygen to be transported all over the body through the bloodstream and it helps in the elimination of waste products. Breathing correctly will also help purify the blood, create an upsurge in energy and will relax your body and mind.  Good breathing habits are therefore crucial.

An ideal way to relive stress is through breathing exercises. These exercises are incredibly effective and can be performed pretty much anywhere and at almost any time! They don’t take long to perform an are very easy and free to do – which is always a winner in our book.


Are you a left nostril or right nostril breather?

Take a moment to identify which side you think you breathe out of? We want to demonstrate an ancient brain-balancing breathing technique which is designed to produce optimum function in both sides of the brain.

We do not breathe evenly on both nostrils. If you hold a finger under your nostrils and exhale hard you will notice which one is working harder than the other. Alternate nostril breathing balances the amount of oxygenated blood that each side of the brain will receive and in turn leaders to a balance between our creative and logical thinking sides of the brain. It is also a technique to calm the mind and bring balance to the nervous systems. Here is how you do it.


  1. Place a finger under your nostrils and exhale through your nose. One nostril will be working harder than the other. This changes according to activity and swaps throughout the day.
  2. Close your right nostrils using the back of your left thumb.
  3. Inhale from your left nostril to the count of four.
  4. Let go of the right nostril and gently punch the left nostril with your left ring finger and hold for the count of 16.
  5. Exhale through your right nostril for 8 counts.
  6. Repeat on the other side, swapping over fingers.


For more  exercises and tips on practising deep breathing click here.


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