REDUCING STRESS THROUGH ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING
At a recent event - a beautiful gathering called Winter Restore - I talked about the "beaker of stress" concept and how life activities contribute to stress. Inflammatory foods, allergies, sitting in traffic, etc. contribute to pushing our bodies past our beaker's threshold. As a Nutritional Therapist, this is where I start with every. single. client. We have to determine the sources of inflammation, remove as many stressors as possible, and support the body's innate intelligence to heal. When we can stop the overflow, we become more resilient to the ups and downs. I'l be doing more in-depth posts about how we can support healing in future posts but, for now, I'd recommend you start implementing this simple exercise right away.
This easy breath work encourages the parasympathetic response, which, in turn, supports healing and a regenerative state. This can be performed multiple times per day, especially before meals or sleep! In fact, I just received a note from a friend that she found this technique extremely helpful while sitting in our lovely Seattle traffic.
Give it a whirl and tell me what benefits you are seeing as you cultivate this new habit!
Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise:
- Find a comfortable seat
- Relax your left hand comfortably into your lap and bring your right hand just in front of your face.
- With your right hand, bring your pointer finger and middle finger to rest lightly between your eyebrows. You will use your right thumb and ring finger for this exercise.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly.
- Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed; hold your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause.
- Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.
- Inhale through the right side slowly.
- Hold both nostrils closed with your ring finger and thumb.
- Open your left nostril and release your breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly at the bottom.
- Repeat a minimum of five times.