alternate nostril breathing

Alternate Nostril Breathing: Step-By-Step Guide And Benefits

Table of Contents

  • 1. What Is Alternate Nostril Breathing?
  • 2. How To Do Alternate Nostril Breathing?
  • 3. Alternate Nostril Breathing Benefits
  • 4. Is It Safe?
  • 5. Conclusion

Alternate Nostril Breathing is also known as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama in Sanskrit. It is a yogic breath control practice which means subtle energy-clearing breathing technique. Nadi Shodhana or Anulom Vilom is the most common type of nostril breathing. In this breathing exercise, you breathe through one nostril while keeping the other one shut. After that change the nostril and repeat the process.

It helps you reduce stress and is good for your brain, lungs, and heart. In this blog, we will discuss alternate nostril breathing benefits, variations, and how to do it.


What Is Alternate Nostril Breathing?

Alternate Nostril Breathing

The alternate Nostril Breathing Sanskrit name is Nadi Shodhana. It refers to the purifying of the energy that circulates in your body. This breathing practice clears your energy channels. This breathing practice can be performed anytime and anywhere but the most suitable time is in the morning. However, you can perform it whenever you need to relax or focus.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama offers more benefits when you have an empty stomach. You can add it to your daily yoga practice to get better results. It will also help you to deepen your meditation practices.


How To Do Alternate Nostril Breathing?

Make sure that you are following these steps correctly or you can ask any yoga teacher to teach it. 

Follow these steps to practice the Nadi Shodhana

  1. Firstly, sit in a comfortable position while keeping your legs crossed.

  2. After that, place your left hand on your left knee.

  3. Then, lift your right hand toward your nose.

  4. Close your right nostril and inhale through the left nostril.

  5. After that, close your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril.

  6. Then, inhale through the right nostril and exhale from the left nostril.

  7. Finally, repeat the same process for 2-3 minutes.


NOTE: Always finish the practice by exhaling from the left nostrils.

Alternate Nostril Breathing Benefits

Alternate Nostril Breathing benefits

Looking for what is alternate nostril breathing good for?

In general, it affects your physical and mental health positively. Here are the benefits of Nadi Shodhana:

  • Promotes Overall Well-being.

  • Reduce Anxiety.

  • Relaxes Your Body & Mind.

  • Keeps You More Focused & Aware.

  • Improves Cardiovascular Functions.

  • Improves Lung Functions.


Also read about: Bhastrika Pranayama


Is It Safe?

For most people it is safe but you must consult your doctor if you have a medical condition like heart issue, lungs, COPD, Asthma, etc. If you feel nauseous, dizzy, lightheaded, shortness of breath, or any kind of adverse effect, then you should stop the practice. It may trigger physical and mental symptoms. 

Here are the potential side effects of Alternate Nostril Breathing

  • Dizziness

  • Vomiting

  • Fainting

  • Chest Pain

  • Shortness Of Breath



Alternate Nostril Breathing helps you relax, focus, and clear your mind. Regular Nadi Shodhana pranayama practice is required to see and maintain its positive results. However, it is not a substitute for medical treatment. Always consult your doctor or a healthcare professional before starting a new asana or breathing practice.


If you want to learn more asana and meditation techniques, you must consider joining a yoga course. Heart of Yoga is one of the best yoga schools in Rishikesh that offers in-person and online yoga teacher training courses. We are a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga school that will help you deepen your yoga knowledge and skills.

About Author

Manoj Sharma

Manoj Sharma is a certified yoga teacher, who professionally works as a content writer. He has written about yoga and teaches a weekly yoga class in Rishikesh. A dedicated yoga enthusiast, embarked on a transformative journey through teacher training, immersing themselves in the profound realms of mind-body connection. He aims to inspire a community dedicated to self-discovery and personal growth by focusing on fostering balance and harmony.