NADI SHODHANA - 'Clearing the channels of circulation'.
There are so many wonderful breathing techniques that we can learn (and should) alongside our physical yoga practice. The most familiar being 3 Part Breath or belly breathing, Ujjayi and Alternate nostril breathing. Each of them possess powerful benefits that will make a difference to your physical practice and your state of mind. Alternate nostril breathing in particular has a beautiful way of creating balance, within a few short minutes we can feel calmer, more connected and rebalanced. It works by creating a 'horseshoe' effect when we breathe in and out alternate nostrils, we consciously control the breath stimulating left and right side of the brain. Very often when we are always rushing around we are somehow constantly in a state of stress, this can mean our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) it's always active. With this nervous system working over time we can get emotional, exhausted, burnt out, stressed, frustrated, clumsy and physically in pain. Basically we can't seem to control anything because all of our 'tabs' are open all at once! By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) we allow the body and mind space and time to process, rest and heal. One thing at a time!
Benefits of this breathing technique:
Balances both hemispheres of the brain
Reduces anxiety and stress
Lowered heart rate
Brings us into focus and clarity
Stimulates the lungs and increases lung capacity
Rebalances an overwhelmed body and mind