By Dr. Piers Bubbers – Osteopath

Stress is a funny word. It makes me feel tight just saying it. Today I’d like to share with you a simple technique to help ease the stress in life. A simple strategy that you can do anywhere (well maybe not while scuba diving!) to better regulate your breathing, release tension in your muscles and get the day back on track.

Alternate nostril breathing is a breathing technique used in yoga to calm the mind and the body. Do it for 3-5 minutes a day or keep it as a handy tool when it is all feeling a bit much. If you have any questions about the technique please contact me at the clinic.

nostril_breath

1- Sit comfortably with your spine straight. Rest your left arm.

2- Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of the right hand in between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, and the thumb on the right nostril. You will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril. (see picture below)

3- Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril.

4- Now breathe in from the left nostril and then close the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Removing the thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right nostril.

5- Breathe in from the right nostril and then press the right nostril gently with the thumb and release the ring and little finger from the left nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round. Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.

6- Keep your eyes closed throughout and continue taking long, deep, smooth breaths without any force or effort. It helps also if you count slowly to five as you breathe to assist with slow breathing.

Read more on this topic here. You also may find our previous post on breathing and mindfulness useful too.

Piers integrates regular yoga practice into his life. He finds there is a lot of overlap between osteopathic and yogic philosophy and practice