Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise

Yoga In 60 Seconds ~ Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise


A Breathing Technique To Improve Focus


Alternate nostril breathing might sound a bit weird but it is a popular and effective balancing breathing exercise.  It can help clear your mind and improve focus along with slowing the breathing rate which calms the central nervous system.

It can be used as standalone practice, prior to meditation or your physical pose practice.  I love it to refocus me during the day if I’m finding it hard to concentrate.  Every important meeting or job interview should begin with alternate nostril breathing.  It’s also been shown in studies to help insomnia sufferers.  Great news if sleep is something that you struggle with.  You’re not alone by the way, it’s what brought me to yoga over 30 years ago and I haven’t looked back.   You can read more about my workshops on yoga for insomnia.

Research On How It Works

This technique has featured in a few studies with various findings:

  • There is evidence to support its use to decrease heart rate and breathing rhythm and therefore cause parasympathetic nervous system dominance which creates a feeling of calm (Jovanow, E. 2005).
  • It featured in another study which showed that participants had an increase in plasma melatonin levels after 3 months of yoga practice (Harinath, 2004). (melatonin is your naturally produced “sleep drug”)
  • It was part of another study that showed improved stress and self-confidence scores in insomnia sufferers without any side effects (Sobana, 2013)
  • Enhances respiratory function in school students (Sivapriya, 2010)

Not all breathing techniques suit everyone and that’s ok.  If you don’t particularly like this breathing exercise, there are others you can try.  You could check out the video on up & down yoga breathing and reclined diaphragmatic breathing.

If there is something you’d like that you don’t see, just ask and we’ll be happy to include it in future releases. Remember to subscribe to our socials to get more handy yoga tips.  I look forward to seeing you over there!




Free Online Yoga in 60 Seconds


Yoga doesn’t have to be complicated!  You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how simple these practices are & easy to slot into your everyday routine in just 60 seconds a day.  I created these free online yoga videos as a resource that you can come back to whenever you need a bit of inspiration. I hope you enjoy practicing them just as much as I enjoy making them! ~ Charley Hickey C-IAYT, Yoga Therapist & Owner Charleyoga

Please Read - Safety Tips For Viewers

Please Note: Most of our class videos are recorded for our students who have already practiced with us in person.  If you are new to things or injured and not sure if this is right for you then we suggest attending some yoga classes with a qualified teacher to ensure safety during your practice.  We advise that you consult with a health professional (e.g GP) first before starting a yoga practice.

Guided meditation can be a great tool to help alleviate stress & anxiety. However, meditation is not a substitute for professional healthcare.  If you feel you are not coping, then please seek professional help by speaking to your GP.  Mental Health Australia provides further information and resources that you might find helpful