Alternate Nostril Breathing for Your First Breathwork Session

In our fast-paced lives, stress and anxiety often take center stage. We’re constantly bombarded with stimuli, leaving our minds racing and our bodies tense. However, there’s a simple yet profound tool we can harness to restore balance and find inner peace: breathwork for relaxation, specifically, alternate nostril breathing.

The Ancient Wisdom of Nadi Shodhana

Alternate nostril breathing, also known as Nadi Shodhana in Sanskrit, is a time-tested form of breathwork for relaxation used for centuries to promote well-being. It involves alternately breathing through each nostril while holding the other closed, creating a rhythmic and calming effect.

What makes this technique so insightful is its ability to harmonize the two hemispheres of the brain. In yogic philosophy, the right and left nostrils are associated with the sun and moon energies, respectively. By balancing these energies, we can achieve a state of equilibrium within ourselves.

Unlocking the Benefits of Breathwork for Relaxation

The beauty of alternate nostril breathing, a cornerstone of mindfulness and wellness, lies in its simplicity and accessibility. Anyone can practice it, regardless of experience. Here are just a few of the insights this practice offers:

  • Stress Relief: By slowing down and focusing on the breath, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, our body’s natural relaxation response. This is a key benefit of alternate nostril breathing and can significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels.
  • Mental Clarity: As we alternate our breath during breathwork for relaxation exercises, we create a sense of focus and present moment awareness. This can help clear mental clutter and improve cognitive function.
  • Energy Balance: The rhythmic nature of alternate nostril breathing promotes a balanced flow of energy throughout the body, leaving us feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Integrating Breathwork for Relaxation into Daily Life

The most insightful aspect of breathwork for relaxation is that it’s always available to us. We carry our breath with us everywhere we go. By incorporating a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing into our daily routines, we can cultivate a sense of calm and well-being that permeates our entire lives.

Whether you’re sitting in traffic, feeling overwhelmed at work, or simply need a moment of peace, this practice of breathwork can be your anchor. It’s a reminder that we have the power to regulate our emotions and find inner stillness, even in the midst of chaos.

So, take a few moments each day to connect with your breath. Explore the rhythm of alternate nostril breathing and discover the profound insights it offers for a more relaxed and balanced life.

Lunden Souza: 

Welcome to Self Love and Sweat THE PODCAST, the place where you’ll get inspired to live your life unapologetically, embrace your perfect imperfections, break down barriers and do what sets your soul on fire. I’m your host, Lunden Sousa. Hey, have you grabbed your free Self Love and sweat monthly calendar yet? This calendar is so amazing. It comes right in your inbox every single month to help you have a little nugget of wisdom, a sweaty workout, a mindset activity, just a little something, something to help keep you focused and motivated and keep that momentum towards your goals. So every day, when you get this calendar, you’ll see a link that you can click that will lead to a podcast episode or a workout or something that will be very powerful and quick to read. And then you’ll also see, on the top left corner of every single day, there’s a little checkbox in the calendar and what that is is that’s for your one thing. You can choose one thing every month, or it can be the same, something that you want to implement and make this something that you can easily implement, like daily meditation or getting a certain amount of steps or water, for example, and staying hydrated and even taking your supplements. This can be something if you want to get more regular doing a particular habit and routine. You can choose what that checkbox means. So if you want your Self Love and Sweat monthly calendar delivered right to your inbox every month on the first of the month, go to, fill out the form really quickly and you will have your calendar in your inbox within a few short minutes. That’s lifelikelunden L-I-F-E-L-K-E-L-U-N-D-E-N dot com forward slash calendar. Go, get yours for free and enjoy this episode.

Lunden Souza: 

Welcome back to the podcast in this series in July or actually whenever you’re listening to this, but specifically published in July, we’re doing breath work a lot more breathing and a little bit less, um, yeah, normal podcast episodes, if you will. I just think it’s so great to be able to tap back into our breath. There was a song that I heard a friend of mine she dated at some point one of the singers in this band and the lyrics of one of the songs that they sang said you’re in your head, get back to your body, take a deep breath, there is no worries. And I love that because I really think that’s what breath work does it gets us out of our heads and back into our bodies. So today on this episode, we’ve done one before on box breathing. I’ll link it in the description, um, but today we’re going to do alternate nostril breathing.

Lunden Souza: 

So maybe you’ve heard of alternate nostril breathing before. Um, this was something that I learned years ago in a yoga class, and then I started doing it in the bathtub. I loved being able to just like be in the bath, be super still. You know that moment where you’re like so still that you forget there’s water in the bathtub and then do alternate nostril breathing and I just got in the habit of doing it that way. But you can do it anytime. You can do it in the car, you can do it anytime. You can do it in the car, you can do it in bed, you can do it in a chair, you can do it outside. You can do it anytime. Um, just like with all breath work techniques, it’s available anytime. So alternate nostril breathing is the one that we’re going to talk about today and we’ll do a little bit of it together today, um, but yeah, so some benefits of alternate nostril breathing is that it’s going to reduce stress and anxiety, improve cardiovascular function, enhance wellbeing, better breathing, boost brain function. Just getting oxygen to the brain through different sides of the nostrils is really cool. It’s kind of like an exercise when we do bilateral movement. You just get to oxygenate the brain and body in new pathways, in new ways. And I think alternate nostril breathing is such a great breath work technique to just like get lost in and just like freaking, just yeah, get lost in it, so the way that it works.

Lunden Souza: 

So, for those of you listening, I’m going to do my best to use my words. For those of you watching, you’ll be able to do it with me. But you’re going to use your right hand and you’re going to use your thumb, your pointer and your middle finger, okay, and you’re going to put your pointer finger in between your eyebrows, um, at that third eye center point, it’s also known as but just rest it there in between your eyebrows, and then your thumb is going to block your right nostril. So, before we block the right nostril, let’s clear the runway. I like to say so big inhale through the nose and out through the nose. Here we go, let it out.

Lunden Souza: 

Okay, now we’re going to use our thumb to block our right nostril and then we’re going to inhale through our left nostril. Here we go, inhale through the left nostril, hold it at the top for four, three, two, one. Switch Using that middle finger. Block your left nostril, exhale out of your right side, inhale through the right, inhale through the right. You can plug both sides for the hold for four, three, two, one. Let your middle finger out, exhale out of your left nostril. Okay, I’m going to talk you through it as you go. Here we go inhale through that left nostril all the way to the top, plug both nostrils and hold it for four, three, two, one and switch. Release your thumb out of the right nostril, exhale all the way out and inhale through that right nostril, big inhale. Plug that right side, hold it four, three, two, one. Open that left side, lift out the middle finger, exhale out through the left and again inhale through the left. Plug both sides, hold it at the top, release the thumb, exhale out the right, inhale through the right, plug it at the top and hold it, exhale out the left. Good job, and keep going for a little bit longer.

Lunden Souza: 

This alternate nostril breathing you can think of it like you’re creating a rainbow or an arc, or like that horseshoe shape of the oxygen coming in one side and out the other. Again, this is such a powerful breathing technique that you can access anytime, anywhere. And when you finish that last exhale, I want you to fully exhale, remove your hand down and then big inhale all the way to the top and hold at the top, relax your shoulders, keep holding, keep holding. Five, four, three, two, one and exhale. I hope you enjoyed a little bit of alternate nostril breathing today. Remember you can access this breathwork technique box breathing which I’ve talked about before. I’ll link in the description and any breathwork technique anytime, any place, to come back to your body.

Lunden Souza: 

Every week in July we’ll be doing a new breathwork episode just like this, so if you like it, let me know. You can hit me in the DMs on Instagram. I’m at lifelikelunden L-I-F-E-L-I-K-E-L-U-N-D-E-N. I love to hear feedback on these episodes. Keep breathing and have a wonderful day. Bye. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Self Love and Sweat THE PODCAST. Hey, do me a favor Wherever you’re listening to this podcast, give us a review this really helps a lot and share this with a friend. I’m only one person and with your help, we can really spread the message of self love and sweat and change more lives all around the world. I’m Lunden Sousa, reminding you that you deserve a life full of passion, presence and purpose, fueled by self-love and sweat. This podcast is a Hitspot. Austria production.