Gillian Buckley Yoga & Wellness
Spread the Word

Alternate Nostril Breathing: Yoga for Anxiety

Today we will be practicing nāḍī shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing. We will be breathing in and out of the nose, one nostril at a time, so it’s not a bad idea to blow the nose beforehand if you have any congestion.


This is one of my favourite pranayamas, or breath control exercises, because it meets you where you are. Alternate nostril breathing is based on the theory that the right half of our bodies operates much differently from the left. In many Eastern practices the right side of the body is associated with the masculine energy and things such as the sun, heat, action, light. It is a doing energy. The left side of the body is associated with the feminine: the moon, coolness, dark, and rest. Sometimes throughout our day these energies can come off balance. When we are feeling particularly anxious, it could be said that the right side is over active. If we are sluggish, perhaps we have too much of the yin, left side energy. Alternate nostril breathing operates with the understanding that the right nostril corresponds to the right hemisphere and the right half of our bodies and the left nostril, the left half of the brain and body. Alternate nostril breathing brings balance to the body and to the mind.

Hi, I'm Gillian.

I’m obsessed with helping women live their best lives. Together we'll use yoga and mindfulness to build confidence, reach goals and have some fun!

Let's do this!


About the Author Gillian Buckley

When she's not teaching yoga classes or wellness workshops, Gillian can be found doing boot camp in the park, spending time with her kids or developing her latest and greatest kombucha flavour.

>