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Alternate Nostril Breath

Alternate Nostril Breathing (nadi sodhana) is a breathing exercise (pranayama) that calms & balances the mind. Nadi sodhana is often practiced prior to meditation & yoga asana practice to allow both nostrils to be free & clear.

Alternate Nostril Breathing (nadi sodhana) is a yoga breathing exercise (pranayama) that calms and balances the mind. Nadi sodhana allows the left & right nostrils to be free & clear and the body & brain functioning in balance.

MECHANISM OF ACTION Alternate Nostril Breathing (nadi sodhana) is a traditional breathing practice in yoga thought to calm the mind and balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain

INDICATIONS & USAGE Practice nadi sodhana p.r.n (as needed) to feel centered & balanced.  Research indicates alternate nostril breathing (nadi sodhana) is beneficial for individuals with cancer, diabetes & cardiovascular disease

DOSAGE & ADMINISTRATION Practice 5 rounds of nadi sodhana PRN (as needed), prior to meditation or asana practice. Keep the inhalation even with the exhalation throughout the practice.

PRECAUTIONS/WARNINGS During the practice of nadi shodana, one nostril may seem resist to airflow or feel blocked. It is normal for one nostril to feel more open (dominant) than the other. Nostril dominance shifts throughout the day (roughly every 2 hours) and is more balanced at dawn & dusk. Injury, illness (sinus infection), surgery or structural abnormalities (deviated septum) may impact the pattern of nostril predominance.

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The Principles and Practice of Yoga and Healthcare ~ Sat Bir Singh Khalsa
Yoga as Medicine ~Timothy McCall MD
Yoga for Depression. Amy Weintraub
Yoga Skills for Therapists. Amy Weintraub


Telles S at al. Blood pressure & heart rate variability during yoga-based alternate nostril breathing practice and breath awareness. Med Sci Mon Basic Research. 2014. 20 (1) 184-93
Sharma B et al. Comparative Study of affect of anuloma-viloma (pranayam) and yogic asanas in premenstrual syndrome. Indian J of physiology & pharmacology. 2013. 57: 384-9
Sinha AN et al. Assessment of the effects of pranayama/alternate nostril breathing on the parasympathetic nervous system in young adults. J of Clin & Diagnostic Research. 2013. 7(5): 821-3
Telles S et al. Blood pressure & Purdue pegboard scores in individuals with hypertension after alternate nostril breathing, breath awareness & no intervention. Med Sci Mon. 2013;19:61–66
Telles S et al. 2012. Yoga breathing through a particular nostril  is associated with contralateral event-related potential changes. Int J Yoga. 5(2):102-7
Raghuraj P et al. Immediate effect of specific nostril manipulating yoga breathing practices on autonomic & respiratory variables. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback. 2008. 33 (2): 65-75

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