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Kundalini nostril breathing — a quick way to restore calm

By Dr. Sharon Stills, NMD

Did you know that when people are under stress, they tend to breathe mostly through their right nostrils? The right nostril is connected to the left brain, and this connection is thought to be part of what activates the body’s classic stress response: dilated pupils, increased core temperature, sweating, and increased heart rate and blood pressure.

The next time stress strikes, calm your body’s stress response by practicing Kundalini nostril breathing, a simple breathing technique from yoga that switches your breath to your left nostril. Here’s how to give it a try.

Kundalini Nostril Breathing

  • Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine.
  • Block your right nostril with the thumb of your right hand. Let the rest of your hand rest.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly through the left nostril for several minutes until you feel more relaxed. A good goal to start is taking 26 long deep breaths.

As you go through your day, try to become more aware of your breathing. Are you right-dominant nostril breather? Practice this technique on a regular basis to balance out your breathing — and reduce stress.

Want more easy tips for stress relief? Read: How to relieve stress: 7 tips from a doctor.
Last Updated: June 24, 2022
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