Alternate Nostril Breathing
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
NAH-DEE sho-dha-nah PRAHN-AH-YAHM-ah
Strengthens respiratory muscles
Cleanses respiratory system, balances left and right brain
Relieves stress and anxiety, calms mind, develops concentration
How to perform alternate nostril breathing
- Sit in a comfortable position. Lengthen your spine.
- Bring your left thumb and index finger together. Rest the back of the hand on your left knee.
- Tuck your right index and middle fingers into your palm. Close your eyes.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Exhale completely.
- Inhale through your left nostril. Close your left nostril with your ring finger.
- Release your thumb and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril.
- Close your right nostril with your thumb. Release your ring finger and exhale through your left nostril. This is one round.
- Repeat 5 rounds of this breath. Rest in Corpse for several breaths.
- Lengthen spine
- Keep chin parallel to floor
- Relax shoulders
- Tuck right index and middle fingers into palm
Modification: Place a firm cushion or rolled mat under your bottom to bring more length to your spine.
More yoga poses to discover
Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama in Sanskrit) is a beginner yoga pose that belongs to the breathing exercises categories. This asana targets abs and chest. Alternate nostril breathing stretches and strengthens legs, opens chest; rejuvenates abdominal organs and also reduces fatigue, increases energy. Refer to the illustration and instructions above for how to perform this posture correctly. Discover more yoga asanas and yogic breathing exercises in our free yoga pose directory.
Our exercise illustrations represent original artwork registered with and protected by the U.S. Copyright Office. Unauthorized use violators will be prosecuted. More details.