What’s This Research About?

This was the first systematic review of studies about the physiological and cognitive effects of alternate nostril breathing (ANB), written by Dr. Shreya Ghiya.

Pranayama refers to conscious breath modification by altering its rhythm, rate, duration, and depth. In yoga practice this breath manipulation is used to achieve a degree of control over the mental state but also has physiological effects on the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems. Recently there has been an increase in research looking at these effects using breath as a relatively easy, inexpensive, and effective method to achieve health benefits.

ANB is a common breathing method which has several variations described in the definitions section. Purported benefits of ANB include modulation of sympathovagal balance, improved cardiac function, stress relief, and increased cognitive ability.

TITLE: Alternate Nostril Breathing: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials


PUBLICATION: International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences

DATE: August 2017

AUTHORS : Shreya Ghiya

Alternate nostril breathing (ANB), Anulom-vilom pranayama, or Nadi-suddhi pranayama: Different terms used for any form of alternating unilateral nostril breathing by manually closing one of the nostrils while in a seated erect position.

Techniques used:

  1. Breathe in left nostril, breathe out right nostril, followed by breath in through right nostril and breathe out through left nostril
  2. Breathe out through left nostril, then breathe in through right nostril, repeat once, twice, or three times before switching to right nostril for exhale and left for the inhale.
  3. Cycling through unilateral nostril breathing for several breaths and then switching to the other nostril

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