Nadi Shodhana Pranayam
In out stressful modern lives, the number of "stressors" seems to increase by the day... Over time these stressors can set the stage for cumulative damage to our nervous systems and a "cortisol" overload as a result of the sympathetic portion of our nervous system staying overactive (stress mode). Unfortunately, many of the signs of physiologic and hormonal stress are not easy to identify until they become a significant problem. Preventing the negative effects of stress on the body, and focusing on daily relaxation techniques that are simple - can significantly decrease your risk.
Nadi Shodhana is also known as "alternate nostril breathing" and is a technique that has been utilized for improving vitality and one's health for thousands of years in India. Simply put, it is a breathing yoga or technique that helps you relax. The meaning of "Nadi Shodhana" is best translated as meaning "purification of the body's subtle energy channels".
How is it done?
Sit up straight. A chair is most comfortable.
Use your right hand. Thumb and ring finger.
The right thumb presses against the right nostril. Breathe in through the left nostril with a count of 8.
With the ring finger, close the left nostril and lift the thumb. Breathe out through the right nostril. Slowly with a count of 8.
Breathe in through the right nostril with a count of 8. close with the thumb, close the right nostril and lift your ring finger. Breathe out through the left nostril with a count of 8.
Congratulations! You have completed your first cycle. Continue for at least 16 cycles and as long as necessary to completely relax your breathing, diaphragm, mind and body.
Relaxation improves your odds
Improving the parasympathetic nervous system tone (helping your body relax) can dramatically reduce your risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Inflammatory conditions
- Sleep disturbances
- Neurodegenerative processes
- "Burnout" syndrome
- Adrenal exhaustion
- Hormone imbalance
- Recurring infections
- Premature signs of aging
- And more
What are some of the benefits?
This practice can help to balance your nervous system "tone". This technique can help to relax your worried mind, improve mental clarity and concentration, decrease cortisol levels, improve sleep, strengthens your vital force (or vital energy / aka "Qi" or "Chi"), diminish feelings of anxiety as well as depression - especially when related to stress.
Stress is one of the most insidious silent killers. This issue alone contributes to worsening nearly every significant health problem one might face. The benefits of stress reduction techniques are innumerable and one of the most important aspects of any balanced and healthy lifestyle.
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