Yoga Breathing for Anxiety Relief

photo by tanakawho

In this week's podcast Shann describes how to do Nadi Shodhana - or alternate nostril breathing, a wonderfully simple and calming yoga breathing technique which involves controlling the flow of your breath through each nostril.

Here are her directions:

Sit in a comfortable position either on the floor, or in a chair, and take a nice deep breath.

Now place your thumb next to your right nostril and place your index finger and middle finger on the centre of your eyebrow. Then hold your ring finger next to your left nostril, you're right elbow should be down in front of your chest.

Be sure to relax your shoulders, let your shoulders release and relax and drop back down toward your back pocket. Your left hand can gently rest on your left knee.

Begin by closing your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly through your left nostril, while counting to 5. Then close the left nostril with your ring finger, at the same time remove your thumb from the right nostril and exhale through this nostril while counting to 5 again.

This completes half of a round of breathing.

Now inhale through the right nostril for five seconds, then close the right nostril with your right thumb and exhale through the left nostril for five seconds.

Now you've completed a full round of breathing.

We suggest starting with 5 to 10 rounds of your breath, there are many different variations of alternate nostril breathing so allow yourself the space to give this a try and to experiment with varying the counting until you find something that feels comfortable if counting to 5 doesn't feel right then count to 3 and see how that feels.


Listen to the podcast here:



Our guided breathing exercises for anxiety relief are now available on Amazon: