A Beginners Guide… Breathing to Stress Less

We all need help to quiet the mind, and whilst normally the recommended popular advisory go-to would be yoga or mindfulness, did you know that breath-work can be a powerful tool to aid relaxation during heighted moments of stress?

Nadī Shodhana is a form of prānāyama or the breath control branch of yoga. In Sanskrit, Nadī describes the body’s energy channels, while Shodhana means “to purify or cleanse.” At its core, this ancient breath manipulation technique is a way to clear the passageways of the body to make room for prana, or life force, to move through freely leading to increased relaxation, reduced tension and stress and improving overall general wellbeing, health and happiness.

Alternating breath between the two nostrils is thought to promote balance through the body’s midline which can be compared to the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system in Western medicine. Balancing the breath = balancing the self which typically has a calming effect on nervous system and further supporting the bodies healing process.

The benefits:

1. It helps quiet the mind.

2. It promotes a feeling of balance.

3. It might improve heart and lung health and increase relaxation.

4. It can get you in the right head space for a meditation practice.

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