BLOG – Breathing for Increased Creativity – Alternate Nostril Tutorial

alternate nostril tutorial - breathing for increased creativity

People thought that our old yoga studio had high intensity fitness classes. But in reality, every class included at least six styles of breath-work sprinkled throughout: Standing Heating Breath, Abdominal Breathing, Diaphragmatic Breathing, Kapalabhati Breathing (Breath of Power), Alternate Nostril Breathing and Ujjayi Breath (ocean breath).

We like to call it a Stealth Breathwork class. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š This is why every one always left so invigorated.

Even though all of the breathing exercises mentioned above are highly important, Alternate Nostril is the one that seems to be more popular than the rest.

It could be that it is easier to practice, or that its benefits, ranging anywhere from lowering undue stress to increased productivity, are felt in a more immediate manner.

Video Guide

Here is what we believe makes for one of the most important videos we ever created. It is a tutorial on the Alternate Nostril Breathing. The video is raw but the information is sound.

We cleaned it up for you by adding subtitles so it should be very simple to follow and practice right away. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just hit the CC button on YouTube.

How to Prepare for Alternate Nostril Breathing

  • Sit comfortably on the floor, in easy sitting, or on your heels, or with the legs extended in front of you.
  • You may choose to sit against the wall or any other solid surface to support your back.
  • If sitting on your heels, you may want to place one rolled up blanket underneath the top of the feet (between the top of the feet and the floor) and one between the glutes and the heels.
  • You may also sit at the edge of a chair with the feet touching the ground.
  • Spine is tall, shoulders are down and away from the ears.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Relax your abdomen.

Take 3-4 deep belly breaths. A belly breath consists of the following:

  • Stomach expands like a balloon as you inhale through the nose.
  • Stomach goes all the way in (towards your spine) as you exhale through the nose.

How to Perform One Round of Alternate Nostril Breathing

After a full inhale:

  • Using your right hand, with your thumb close the right nostril, and exhale through the left.
  • Keeping the right nostril blocked with your thumb, inhale through the left nostril.
  • Block your left nostril, with your index finger, open the right nostril and exhale through the right nostril.
  • Keeping the left nostril blocked, inhale through the right nostril.
  • Block your right nostril, with your thumb, open the left nostril and exhale through the left nostril.

The above describes one round of Alternate Nostril Breathing. Repeat at least four rounds, or for a couple of minutes.


Listen to the Spartan Mind Strength Podcast Episode and find out more on how much you can benefit from the Alternate Nostril:

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Naโ€™maste kala! Which in Greek means: May we all be well!

Audio Transcript

WEBVTT Kind: captions Language: en 

WEBVTT Kind: captions Language: en WEBVTT Kind: captions Language: en 00:00:01.610 --> 00:00:07.080 Hello this is Sylvie (Vie) from the Yoga Energy Studio and it's going to be a 00:00:07.080 --> 00:00:11.630 short video on how to perform alternate nostril breathing. 00:00:11.630 --> 00:00:18.420 In order to perform alternate nostril breathing you want to use your fingers to 00:00:18.420 --> 00:00:27.390 close one nostril at a time. You can use your thumb and index finger to close one 00:00:27.390 --> 00:00:34.890 nostril at a time or you can use your thumb and the ring and pinky fingers. So 00:00:34.890 --> 00:00:42.390 if you use thumb and index, your hand should look something like this. If you 00:00:42.390 --> 00:00:48.840 use thumb and ring and pinky fingers your hand should look something like 00:00:48.840 --> 00:00:56.550 this. We are going to do four rounds of alternate nostril breathing. 00:00:56.550 --> 00:01:02.820 Sit up straight, spine is tall, keep your shoulders down. You're going to use your 00:01:02.820 --> 00:01:08.760 right arm, thumb and index, or thumb and the ring and pinky fingers. Keep your 00:01:08.760 --> 00:01:14.670 elbows slightly to the side to help your thoracic diaphragm expand. Right thumb 00:01:14.670 --> 00:01:24.810 closes right nostril, exhale through the left. Inhale through the left, close 00:01:24.810 --> 00:01:33.530 fingers, open your thumb, exhale. Inhale, 00:01:33.710 --> 00:01:50.180 close thumb, open fingers, exhale. Inhale, close fingers, open thumb, exhale. 00:01:51.250 --> 00:02:00.610 Inhale, close thumb, open fingers, exhale. 00:02:00.939 --> 00:02:09.939 Inhale, close fingers, open thumb, exhale. 00:02:10.420 --> 00:02:19.930 Inhale, close thumb, open fingers, exhale. 00:02:20.140 --> 00:02:29.470 Inhale, close fingers, open thumb, exhale. 00:02:29.709 --> 00:02:39.160 Inhale, close thumb, open fingers, exhale. 00:02:39.310 --> 00:02:44.450 Keeping your eyes closed release your arm and stay here for a 00:02:44.450 --> 00:02:52.880 moment with your regular breath. A couple of tips regarding alternate 00:02:52.880 --> 00:02:59.320 nostril breathing. Number one -- if one or both of your nostrils are congested, 00:02:59.320 --> 00:03:04.690 please do not try to perform it. Number two -- there are a lot of rules and 00:03:04.690 --> 00:03:10.630 regulations about the duration of inhalation, exhalation, and retention of 00:03:10.630 --> 00:03:16.990 breath. In the beginning just do what feels good at the time, no worries about 00:03:16.990 --> 00:03:22.570 that. And number three -- this is Sylvie (Vie) from the Yoga Energy Studio. Thank you for 00:03:22.570 --> 00:03:25.800 watching this. See you on the hot mat.

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