Alternating Nostril Breathing

Keeping left and right nose passages open contributes to our balance.

There are different variations to Alternating Nostril Breathing. Some advocate breath retention and others just alternating the inhale and the exhale between the two nostrils, without retention.

4-4 Alternating nostril breathing

Stage 1
I start by blocking the right nostril with my thumb and inhaling from the left nostril counting 4 seconds ( 21, 22, 23, 24 ).

Stage 2
Right nostril is opened. Left nostril is blocked with my ring-finger, exhaling from the right nostril counting 4 seconds ( 21, 22, 23, 24 ).

Stage 3
Right nostril stays opened, left nostril is still blocked with my ring-finger, inhaling from the right nostril counting 4 seconds ( 21, 22, 23, 24 ).

Back to stage 1….

 

4-4-4 Alternating nostril breathing with retention (Triangle breathing)

Stage 1
I start by blocking the right nostril with my thumb and inhaling from the left nostril counting 4 seconds ( 21, 22, 23, 24 ).

Stage 2
With my thumb and ring-finger I block both my nostrils. As an option, I sometimes lock (contract) my anal sphincter muscles. Breath is retained for 4 seconds ( 21, 22, 23, 24 ).

Stage 3
Right nostril is opened (along with the anal sphincter muscles). Left nostril stays blocked with my ring-finger, exhaling from the right nostril counting 4 seconds ( 21, 22, 23, 24 ).

Stage 4
While left nostril is still blocked with my ring-finger, inhaling from the right nostril counting 4 seconds ( 21, 22, 23, 24 ).

Stage 5
Both nostrils are blocked again with my ring-finger and thumb, (option – anal sphincter muscles contracted). Breath is retained for 4 seconds ( 21, 22, 23, 24 ).

Back to stage 1….

 

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