This Breathing Technique Will Melt Away Your Stress
Conscious breathing exercises, or pranayama, are a core part of yoga. Once you incorporate these key tools into your daily routine, you’ll be able to handle stressful situations much easier. Remaining conscious about your breathing will provide a clear path of communication between your brain and your body. Nostril breathing, or Nadi shodhana, has long been a fundamental part of Ayurvedic medicine as it helps to harmonize the two hemispheres of the brain, which can lead to a balance in your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It can also help your mind become peaceful and calm.
Here’s how to practice alternate nostril breathing:
1. Sit up straight in a comfy position with a long spine and relaxed hips. Relax all of your muscles and close your eyes.
2. Place your left hand on your left knee with your palm facing up.
3. Take the tip of your middle finger and index finger of your right hand and place them in between the eyebrows. At the same time, place your pinky finger and ring finger on your left nostril and then use your thumb to cover the right nostril.
4. When you exhale, close your right nostril with your thumb and breathe out through your left nostril.
5. Inhale through the left nostril and then close it with your ring finger.
6. Release your thumb on the right nostril and exhale.
7. Inhale through the right nostril, close it with your thumb and release your two fingers from the left nostril and exhale.
This is one round of alternate nostril breathing. You should repeat this process around nine or 10 times. Always remember to inhale through the same nostril you just exhaled through.
Nadi shodhana comes with a bunch of benefits for your health. On top of calming and centering your mind, it can help to relieve anxiety, fear and stress. It can also be therapeutic for the circulatory system and enhance respiratory functions like strength and endurance. Throughout the whole breathing exercise, just remember to stay present, keep the breaths gentle and don’t take any breaths through your mouth.
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