Summer is known as the “fun” season but can also be a little stressful with all of the non-stop activities and busyness.
I want to share something super simple that you can do to balance the yang summertime energy. (Also can use to balance the yin energy in winter.) It balances the left/right hemispheres of the brain, reduces anxiety and stress, and revitalizes the body and mind when tired.
I’ve been using this for a few minutes each day as I’m temporarily not engaged in my usual meditation practice. It’s helped me return to a calm, grounded, happy state when the responsibilities of caring for an infant feel overwhelming.
It’s super simple, and you’ve probably even done it before at a yoga class. You don’t need a timer or music.
Let’s get started…
- Place your right thumb on your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril. Release the thumb.
- Place your index (or pinky, like I use) finger on your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril. Release the finger.
- Block your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril. Inhale through your left nostril. Release the thumb.
- Block your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale your right nostril. Release the finger.
- Alternate. Repeat repeat repeat as long as you’d like! While I don’t time it, I’ve noticed I tend to do it anywhere from 3-6 minutes, until I feel a shift in my energy.
The key to getting it correct is to remember: alternate after the inhale.
The left side is yin energy and the right side is yang energy, so it literally balances those energies within us.
I’ve noticed after 3-10 minutes of doing Alternate Nostril Breathing, I feel refreshed and grounded back into my body. Also, because you need to pay attention to the breath pattern, it’s hard to let the mind wonder. And when our lives are busier, our minds tend to be busier. This is an easy way to slooow that mind down.
Remember to breathe long and deep, down into your belly, with the inhale and the exhale being similar in length. Relax the face. The jaw. The shoulders. And have fun!
PS This is a great breathing technique to use before your regular meditation! During high energy of the summer, it can sometimes feel harder to sink deeply into a meditation. This breath-work will help!