Alternate Nostril Breathing
The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are slowly falling and the corona pandemic still holds us under its spell. Right now it is imperative that we stabilize our immune system. For this I also recommend a breathing exercise that has proven itself for me, alternate nostril breathing, from the Pranayama. Pranayama refers to the conscious regulation and deepening of breathing through mindfulness and constant practice.
Effects of Alternate Nostril Breathing
Pranayama breathing has a positive effect on our cardiovascular system, our airways and lungs. Through regular exercise we increase our lung capacity and can strengthen our vital capacity. We are probably less likely to catch colds and suffer less from hay fever or asthma. This type of alternate breathing has a balancing and harmonizing effect on all body systems. It promotes the ability to concentrate and helps us to find inner peace, strength and mental balance.
Exercise instructions for a variant of Alternate Nostril Breathing
You sit upright, calm and relaxed on a chair or on a pillow on the floor.
The fingers of both hands lie on top of each other, palms up. The ends of the thumbs are straight and in contact with each other. The edges of the hands touch the lower abdomen. Hands are kept relaxed below the navel. If possible, close your eyes and breathe in and out calmly and naturally several times.
Then bring the right hand to the nose, place the right middle finger on the right index finger and cover the left nostril with the outside of the right middle finger. Inhale through your right nostril. Hold your breath for a moment.
Then switch fingers, that is, you place the right index finger on the right middle finger and hold the right nostril with the inside of the right middle finger and exhale through the left nostril.
Repeat this twice each time.
Then you do this exercise with your right hand and the corresponding finger technique in reverse. That means, you breathe in three times through the left nostril and exhale three times through the right one.
It is important that the respective nostril is always closed with the middle finger, the index finger only has contact with the middle finger.
Then hold your hands in front of your lower abdomen, as you did at the beginning of the exercise, and breathe in and out calmly, consciously and naturally three times through both nostrils. Then stop concentrating on your breathing and stay a little longer in a relaxed and upright posture.
Finally, place your hands on your knee joints, open your eyes slowly, and then consciously look outward to finish the exercise.
Practice anytime and as often as you want – enjoy!