Alternate nostril breathing is the basis for left or right nostril breathing. It’s an ancient yoga practice that balances the body and improves attention.
In the last post the value of left nostril breathing and right nostril breathing were presented. Alternate nostril breathing is best used when you do not feel particularly agitated/anxious nor lethargic/unmotivated/depressed. Alternate nostril breathing before beginning any task can facilitate increased focus.
To do alternate nostril breathing you put your right thumb on your right nostril, your right index finger on your left nostril, then press with your right thumb to close the right nostril and breathe deeply in through the left nostril. Then release the left thumb, press with the right index finger to close the left nostril and breathe deeply out through the right nostril. Breathe out longer than you breathe in. Then, holding the left nostril closed breathe deeply in through the right nostril and release the right index finger and press the right nostril closed with the thumb and breathe out through the left nostril. Breathe out longer than you breathe in. Whatever nostril you breathe out through is the nostril you breathe in through on the next breath. Do this for at least 5 cycles.
If you’re agitated/anxious you can do alternate nostril breathing after left nostril breathing to further increase focus. Likewise, if your mood is low you can do alternate nostril breathing after completing right nostril breathing to further increase focus.
These exercises need not take longer than 5-15 minutes to have a beneficial effect on your attention. Focused attention is the key to achieving your goals more easily.
These are not the only exercises you can do to increase focused attention. Any activity that clears the mind of clutter can achieve the goal. If reading this brings another mind decluttering exercise to your mind, it is work a try as well.