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How To Beat Insomnia: The Perfect Breathing Exercise

Did you know that your body naturally switches from breathing predominantly through the left or right nostril?  You can tap into this when trying to get a good night’s sleep.

Wellness Expert Amy Molloy joins yoga teacher Vicki Smart from Preshana yoga in Sydney to learn simple ways to help you sleep.

Watch the video or simply read the transcript below!

AMY So tell me about the breathing exercise we can try to send you back off to sleep.

VICKI Yes, well this is another one which is a personal favourite of mine and its using the two channels of energy in the body, which might sound a little bit wawa for some people, and I get that completely, but your body actually flips between nostrils about every 90 minutes naturally, so you’ll breathe through your left and you’ll breathe through your right without being conscious of it.

So we tap into that by breathing through one nostril specifically so if your exhausted and you want to pep yourself up you would go to the right but we are going to use our left today because we are trying to pep ourselves down. So all you would do is bring your thumb and just bring your others fingers in and make a little gentle fist. You block off your right nostril, really tight and then you just breathe in and out between five to ten times from your left nostril. You can close your eyes and do all the things that we were doing in the other poses, notice how the breathe comes really deep down, even though you just have one nostril. And then just focus on breathing in and out on the left side as much as you need to. I find if I’m struggling to sleep or I’m anxious or something has happened that jazzed me up a bit- five to ten breaths through the left nostril really, really calms me down.

AMY I know it’s fairly simple and it sounds slightly mumbo jumbo but I would encourage everyone to try it because I was a sceptic and now it really works.

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Written by Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy, formerly editor of Grazia Australia, is a columnist and author, with a particular interest in health and wellbeing.

Amy is an editor at large for The Renegade Collective and, along with, has contributed for a host of Australian publications including the Sydney Morning Herald and Harper’s BAZAAR. She also regularly writes for UK publications including The Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Guardian, Grazia magazine, Cosmopolitan and Women's Fitness.
She previously published a memoir called Wife Interrupted in 2007.

Amy also runs sell-out yoga & creative writing retreats in Sydney, and offers one-on-one workshops on how to use journalling to improve mental wellbeing.

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