and How to Do it, Including A Short Video Tutorial for the More Visual Types
Alternate nostril breathing is a form of yogic breathing, also known as pranayama. I first learned it when doing the Gupta brain retraining program for MCS, as opposed to throughout my yoga teachings ironically. Either way, I quickly fell in love with it …I didn’t waste much time learning the reported benefits, I was too busy reaping them in real time. HOWEVER, for the purpose of this post, I will note I have since studied the technique in yoga teacher training, and will be using the knowledge I gained throughout training as well as my personal experience to make a quick list of some (certainly not all) of the benefits of alternate nostril breathing that I feel are most beneficial for those with the complex chronic illnesses that have been grouped into the category of “Lyme disease” …this includes conditions such as multiple chemical sensitivity, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more …oh yeah, and did I mention MCS? Because in regards to healing from a simple breathing technique 5-10 mins a day, the improvements I saw in what was before an intense case of MCS were unparalleled in nature, and I was impressed to say the least.
Some of the Benefits of Alternate Nostril Breathing:
*Calms the flight or fight response, thus reducing anxiety, insomnia, and adrenal fatigue from excessive unnecessary stress on the adrenals and unneccesary cortisol release (as well as racing thoughts and constant worrying/obsessing)
*Reduces overactivity in the amygdala, thereby reducing reactions to CHEMICALS, as well as our anxiety around those reactions
*Oxygenates both sides of the brain equally, reducing fatigue and brain fog, and enhancing mental clarity ((I checked with a Lyme specialist about concerns regarding whether or not doing this would be contraindicated for a babesia infection, since babesia thrives on oxygen. The short answer was: no, we thrive on oxygen as well and still need to get it, especially if it’s being scavenged. The long answer was hilarious but I’ll leave it at that…)
*Cleanses & detoxifies the lungs, purging impurities and stale air from the lungs
*Soothes the nervous system, which is extremely effected by Lyme, Lyme co-infections and all related conditions. Therefor, by bringing the nervous system back into balance, a plethora of symptoms may be reduced AND/OR a flare may be greatly reduced in severity
*Helps regulate body temperature, which is important for people who experience symptoms like cold hands and feet (may not sound bad to an outsider, but I used to wear 5 pairs of socks a day AND gloves ….in the Texas summer heat, aka 100 (+) degree weather
*Increases sleep quality by balancing both hemispheres of the brain, which calms restless thoughts, allowing you to fall into a sleep that is deeper, and overall more healing, so you wake feeling more clear headed and refreshed.
*Which brings me to my next point, and one of my favorite things about it: alternate nostril breathing helps increase energy and mental clarity in the morning, yet helps calm and reduce insomnia/enhances quality, healing sleep at night …and can therefor be practiced and benefited from both day and night. How cool is that?
** For maximum benefits, practicing alternate nostril breathing 5-10 min a day, morning and night, is recommended**