Teachers: Make sure you and your students are familiar with Full Mindful Breath (earlier in this series). It is important to practice this at least once before teaching so you can demonstrate for your students.
Begin reading here:
This week’s practice is Different Nostril Breath. It is a practice to make you feel calm, and also mindful of your body. Different Nostril Breath is also meant to challenge your brain a little bit to see if it is paying attention.
If you don’t know what your nostrils are, they are the places where you breathe into your nose. You have two nostrils: one on the right ( teacher: touch the right one to demonstrate) and one on the left (touch the right one to demonstrate). Now you try. Point to your right nostril. Good! Now point to your left nostril. Awesome! Different Nostril Breath uses both nostrils, so it is important to know right from left.
Different Nostril Breath doesn’t just have to do with your nose: the next step is to learn how our hands go in this practice. Hold up your right hand. Good. Now curl your pointing finger and the middle finger down (Teacher: hold up your hand to show them). I’m going to show you Different Nostril Breath one time before we practice together.
Keep your hand like this and cover your right nostril with your thumb. Take a Full Mindful Breath in to your left nostril. Then cover your left nostril with your ring and pinky fingers and breathe out of your right nostril. Now take a Full Mindful Breath into your right nostril. Then cover that nostril with your thumb and breathe out of your left one!
Now let’s try it together! If your nose is stuffy, just close your eyes and imagine following along with us. You can even hold your hand the same way, just don’t press down on your nostrils. Remember to keep your pointer and middle fingers down. Now cover your right nostril with your thumb. Take a Full Mindful Breath in to your left nostril. Then cover your left nostril with your ring and pinky fingers and breathe out of your right nostril. Now take a Full Mindful Breath into your right nostril. Then cover that nostril with your thumb and breathe out of your left one!
Practice that three more times. Thumb on right nostril, in-breath on the left. Pinky and ring on left nostril, out-breath on the right. In-breath on the right. Thumb covers right nostril and out-breath on the left. Imagine that you are breathing in and out slowly and softly, as if there is a feather under your nose and you are trying to keep it from blowing away!
Try one more time on your own. Remember to breathe softly and slowly. End on the left side (where you begin).
Great job! How did that feel? Was it hard for anyone?
Teacher: take some time for feedback and reflection from students on how that felt in their bodies.
Teacher’s Tip: This is a great practice to calm students down and get their brains into focus mode.
Student’s Tip: Practice Different Nostril Breath anytime you want to feel a little more calm in your mind and body. If you have a stuffy nose, remember to close your eyes and just imagine covering up your nostrils on each side.