Did you know that your nose is a complex mechanism that can help restore imbalances in your brain, improve sleep, calm your emotional state, boost your thinking, and calm your nervous system. In order to do this, we need to utilize both of our nostrils effectively. In fact, around 85% of humans only breathe out of one nostril at a time and the pattern of switching from breathing out of one nostril to the other happens in a cyclical fashion, with around 4 hours or so between each switch generally.
Even more fascinating is that based on which nostril you are breathing out of at the moment, it might significantly affect your body and brain. One of the studies published in 1994, found that when you are breathing through your left nostril, the right hemisphere of your brain will be more active or dominant and vice-verse when you are breathing through your right nostril.
10 Reasons You Should Start Alternate Nostril Breathing First Thing In the Morning.
1: Helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Releases accumulated stress in the mind and body effectively and helps relax. It also stimulates the production of endorphins to fight depression.
2: Optimum function to both sides of the brain
3: Cleanses your lungs
4: Cardiovascular health
Long-term alternate nostril breathing (ANB) has been shown to enhance autonomic control of the heart by increasing parasympathetic modulation. (study)
5: Can assist with headaches, migraines and other stress related issues.
6: Higher Energy levels.
Pumps the spinal fluid to the brain which will increase your overall energy.
7: Improves sleep
This will activate your parasympathetic nervous system which will calm you down and slow your heart rate.
8: Balances your nervous system
By focusing on your breath and deepening it, your brain will register this message and trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. You have effectively switched your nervous system from a stressed response, into a relaxation response.
9: Improves digestion and appetite
10: Purifies the bloodstream
Alternate nostril breathing stimulates the system and fills the lungs with fresh air; raises the internal temperature and plays an important part in increasing the absorption of oxygen.
An alternate nostril breathing exercise
- Start by closing the right nostril and gently and fully inhale through the left nostril.
- Then close the left nostril and exhale fully through the right nostril.
- While the left nostril is still closed, inhale fully through the right nostril.
- Finally exhale through the left nostril (right one closed).
- Repeat this series, alternating nostrils after each inhalation.