In the season of colds and flu we can always benefit from as many preventative measures as we can find. Here is a simple yoga breathing technique which is also used in Qigong.
Sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor. Take a few normal breaths to relax before beginning the exercise. Place the tongue gently on the roof of the mouth just behind the top teeth to connect two important channels of energy, du mai (Governing Vessel) and ren mai (Conception Vessel).
Start by keeping the right nostril closed with the thumb of one hand and inhale through the left nostril.
Now close off the left nostril with the index finger of the same hand, release the thumb and exhale through the right nostril. Then inhale through the right.
Switch and close off the right nostril again with the thumb as you exhale through the left. Then inhale through the left. Continue in this way, each time switching nostrils after an inhale.
Practice for a minimum of five minutes and up to thirty minutes. Never force the breath. Try and make each inhale and exhale the same length to balance yin (left nostril) and yang (right nostril) energy. There is no need to hold the breath. Do not practice if breathing is blocked in either nostril.
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