In honor of National Wellness Month (August), we'd like to share one of our favorite tips for easing stress. Left nostril breathing is as easy as it sounds! In order to enjoy the benefits of left nostril breathing, simply take your right thumb or index finger and apply gentle pressure to your right nostril. Begin breathing at a long, controlled pace. Inhale and count to 4 and then exhale and count to 4. This slower, repetitive breathing helps calm the nervous system.
You may be wondering: how does breathing through your left nostril reduce stress? Blocking your right nostril allows your body to more easily access the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) which is the network that helps relax your body after a stressful event. When we experience a stressful event, whether real or perceived, our body's fight or flight response is activated. This response is what kept our ancestors alive when facing obstacles such as hungry bears. In today's world where many of us do not face life or death situations, we still have a fight or flight response. Nowadays, this may be triggered by a stressful event at work or even a perceived threat such as an upcoming meeting with your boss. Left nostril breathing is a great method to calm ourselves down. Repeated practice can allow you to access this calm even easier. When you continually access the PSNS, your brain wires new connections. You may even notice that you begin this practice involuntarily!
Left nostril breathing is one of the easiest and fastest ways that we can reduce stress. Stress management is an important part of full-body wellness, and we hope that this tip helps you live better!