Nadi Shodhana, or “alternate nostril breathing,” is a simple yet powerful technique that not only helps open the nasal passageways if you have a sinus blockage but also settles the mind, body, and emotions.
Use Nadi Shodhana first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. Alternate nostril breathing is also helpful to ease racing thoughts if you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or having trouble falling asleep
How to do alternate nostril breathing.
Be patient with yourself when first starting your alternate nostril breathing practice. It might seem awkward at first but the more you practice, the easier it will become.
- Sit in a chair or on the floor with your legs crossed.
Take a comfortable and tall seat, making sure your spine is straight and your heart is open.
- Adjust your posture.
Sit up as straight as you can. Roll your shoulders back and pull in your belly button towards your spine.
- Relax your hands on your knees.
Gently place the tops of your hands on your knees.
- Alternate right/left nostril.
Place your right thumb on your right nostril to close the passage. Start with a few easy breaths in/out through your nose with your mouth closed. Switch to the other side using the same hand but using the side of your right-hand ring finger – see the illustration above.
- Repeat 5-10 cycles.
Allow your mind to follow your inhales and exhales.
Essential oils to help clear sinuses.
Use an essential oil diffuser and try the following oils, or a combination of all 3, to assist in clearing blocked sinuses. Use your diffuser while doing your sinus-clearing breathing exercises.
Peppermint oil can help to open the airways and clear mucus.
Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm the inflamed tissue in the sinuses.
Frankincense helps relax the lungs and makes for easier breathing all around.