Breathing to calm and balance

A few weeks ago we talked about 3-part breath or Dirga Pranayama, which is a super breath practise to begin working with in your yoga routine. Check out the blog post if you haven’t already.

Today we’re adding to your list of pranayamas with Nadi Shodhana – which means alternate nostril breathing. This breathwork practise is great for this time of the year because it works with both organs of the season – the lungs (because it’s breathing) and the large intestine (because the meridian line ends at the nostril on the opposite side of the body.)

Nadi Shodhana is also a balancing breath, making it a good one for anyone who feels a little bit out of whack. I find this a fantastic tool to use when my head is whirling with thoughts and the overhwlem and worry are starting to creep in. Five rounds of alternate nostril breathing and I can find focus again, the worries are still there but now they’re in the background and I’ve created a little bit more of a balanced perspective on things.

If you can’t breathe through your nose? No worries, I’d recommend practising mental alternate nostril breathing, as this can have similar benefits without having to physically breathe in and out through one nostril at a time.

Perhaps the easiest way to start with Nadi Shodhana is by giving it a go. Here’s a video where I will talk you through the practise.

Breathing to ease worry and calm the mind

I like to use Nadi Shodhana as a prelude to my meditation time, especially if I’m having trouble focusing and getting out of my own way. The balancing and calming effects of the pranayama, have helped me enjoy a more peaceful meditation, making the whole process really enjoyable. Another excellent time to use this breathing technique is before heading to bed at night, as it has a soothing quality to it. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.