De-Stress with Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Sodhana)
Nadi Sodhana is a breathing technique that has a direct link to balance the hemisphere’s in the brain. It can de stress and quieten the mind, release tension and anxiety through the body and may also help with restful sleep. Practiced on a regular basis, it is particularly useful for those with depression, PTSD, anxiety, insomnia and also menopausal women.
How does it work? the conscious breathing works to interact with our nervous system.
The Left hand side of our brain controls the analytical thought, logic, language, reasoning, science, math, and controls the right hand side of the body.
Right hand side – art awareness, creativity, imagination, intuition, insight, holistic, music, controls left hand side of the body.
Nadi Shodhana stimulates the contra lateral brain by breathing through the nostrils. Breathing the right nostril stimulates the Sympathetic nervous system, increases the heart rate, sweaty palms, dilates the pupils and opens the lungs, essentially our flight and flight response.
Breathing through the left nostril stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, , improves digestion, lowers heart rate and relaxes the body.
By breathing alternate nostrils we balance the body and the brain activity, calming our mind and controlling our stress and anxiety response.
Give this a try next time you feeling overwhelmed or need to just take a few minutes to yourself. Please note: there are many variations to this breathing method, in regards to length, cycles, repetitions etc. This is a basic beginner’s method that can be performed, alternatively it is recommended you be under supervision of a registered Yoga teacher.
• Sit quietly and comfortably preferably outdoors in the fresh air.
• Take your index and middle finger of your right hand and place the fingers gently between your eyebrows.
• Gently close your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril, then exhale through the left.
• Release the right nostril close the left with your ring finger, inhale through your right nostril, exhale through your right nostril – repeat this sequence. This is one cycle. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then release the hand and go back to normal breathing.
• This technique should be avoided if you are congested, have sinusitis,feel dizzy or have a headache.