• Francesca Matteoda

Nadi shodana pranayama for calmer minds in stressful times

Nadi shodana pranayama (alternate breathing) is an excellent exercise at any time, but I find it's particularly useful during the lockdown we are living through as it calms the mind, and let's face it, we all have our moments of worry or anxiety when locked up 24/7, no matter how spiritual or holy we may be ;-)

On the simplest level, yoga helps strengthen the body through physical exercises (asanas) and calm the mind through breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation, so ideally your yoga practice should include a mixture of all three.

This pranayama calms the nervous system, so it's highly recommendable before speaking in public, taking an exam, attending an interview or doing anything that can stress you out. It also helps you relax before going to sleep and works wonders for unblocking a stuffy nose, although the first few rounds of breathing can be very difficult if you have a bad cold.

In the video, I'll demonstrate how to do the exercise using a count of 4. If you find that is too much or too little, please feel free to adjust the count accordingly, but remember that your inhalation has to be the same as your exhalation, so if you inhale to the count of 3, you have to exhale to count of 3 too.


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