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close up woman performing nadi shodhana

A quick fix to balance your nervous system - Nadi Shodhana.

A quick fix to relax and balance your nervous system.


There are many popular breathing techniques associated with yoga. Generally, we can divide them

into 3 overall types that can be useful for us when working with nervous system regulation.


Exercises that:


1. Upregulates your nervous system.

2. Balances your nervous system.

3. Downregulate your nervous system.


Using these 3 different breathing techniques you can: reduce stress, regulate mood and energy, improve digestion, promote relaxation and sleep, create deeper mindfulness and meditation, improve focus, relieve asthma, and help regulate the immune system.


For now, we'll be looking at an exercise from category 2 balancing your nervous system. Balanced breathing can be highly effective in helping you to calm down if you are stressed or anxious or lift your energy level if you are feeling tired and exhausted.


A quick exercise to balance your nervous system.


This exercise can be done at any time of the day when you feel like it and as often as you like.

With as little as 15 minutes daily, for example, 5 minutes every morning, noon, and night, you can consciously influence your nervous system state.


How to:


- Sit on a chair, a cushion, or on the floor, or lie down on your back.


- Place your hands on your thighs. If you are sitting on a chair, move slightly away from the back of the chair, and sit with a straight back, making sure your feet are firmly planted on the floor.


- You can keep your eyes open or closed. If they are open, find a point on the floor in front of you where you let your gaze rest softly.


- Relax your face and shoulders, but keep a slight arch in the lower back, and keep a long straight back.


- Breathe in and out through the nose and keep your mouth closed. If this seems difficult at first, start by breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.


- Keep a steady pace and a calm rhythm, without feeling any tension around the breath.


Alternating breathing - Nadi Shodhana.


Nadi Shodhana (alternate breathing) is one of the most elementary Pranayama breathing exercises.

This exercise balances the body's energy pathways as well as the right and left hemispheres of the brain, it improves concentration and reduces stress.


For this exercise, you'll use a Mudra (Sanskrit for hand position) to manipulate your breathing.


yogic hand pose vishu mudra


Vishnu Mudra


The index finger and middle finger are bent towards the palm, and the other three fingers remain extended. Practiced using the right hand, which symbolizes receiving.


This is the classic Vishnu Mudra, if it feels uncomfortable to bend the two fingers like this, or if you are unable to do it. You can do another version of the pose.

Leave the middle and index fingers straight, and rest them on your Third eye (between the eyebrows), and instead bend the ring and pinky fingers.


How to perform Nadi Shodhana.


1. Hold the right hand in Vishnu Mudra, and hold it up in front of your face with the palm facing the face.


2. Close the right nostril by pressing the thumbs against it and inhale through the left nostril.


3. Now alternate by removing the thumb and pressing the ring finger against the left nostril to close it, and exhale through the right nostril.


4. The process is now reversed.


5. Keep the left nostril closed by pressing the ring finger against it and inhale through the right nostril.


6. And then alternate by removing the ring finger and pressing the thumb against the right nostril to close it, and exhale through the left nostril.


7. Continue switching from side to side.


Do around 10 rounds of this, and then slowly release your hand down and take a couple of normal relaxed breaths releasing your attention to your breathing.

On the next exhale, release all tension in your face and shoulders.

If you have your eyes closed, they can stay closed a little longer.

Just sit for a while until you are ready to open your eyes and notice how your body feels right now.


If you at any time feel uncomfortable, or dizzy, remove your hand and breathe normally.



Nadi Shodhana



Disclaimer

The information found in this blog post is for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for a health professional's advice. If you are struggling with health issues please seek professional help. The use of any information provided in this blog post is solely at your own risk.


Author Mette Rosenqvist


she/her

With 10 years of supporting women release and manage emotional and physical pain to achieve optimal health, Mette is the seasoned coach and blogger behind MeRoyoga, a Holistic Health website. Dedicated to empowering women of all ages and backgrounds, her work is based on cultivating mind-body awareness and self-regulation through compassionate inquiry. As a Multi passionate coach, Mette incorporates several healing modalities to create bespoken sessions prioritizing inclusion, meaning, and accessibility and thrives on helping women discover all the choices available to them so they can build trust and safety in themselves, and move through life present, centered, and empowered.




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