Alternate nostril breathing, called Nadi Shodhana in Sanskrit, is a practical tool for calming the nervous system. We know that when the nervous system is calm we think more clearly, have increased stamina and energy, are better decision makers and communicators. Even after two minutes you will notice a shift.
Try alternate nostril breathing:
Step one: Use right thumb to close off right nostril.
Step two: Inhale slowly through left nostril
Step three: Pause for a second
Step four: Now close left nostril with ring finger and release thumb off right nostril
Step five: Exhale through your right nostril
Step six: Now, inhale through right nostril
Step seven: Pause
Step eight: Use thumb to close of right nostril
Step nine: Breathe out through left nostril
You have completed one round. Start slowly with 1 or 2 rounds and gradually increase. Sit quietly for a few moments after you have finished.
There are many different breath practices. Each will deliver the same ultimate benefit but may induce slightly different experiences for you. Experiment with different exercises and discover for yourself which is most helpful for you. You may find that different exercises are good for different kinds of stress or stressful moments!
Do not hold your breath if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant.