Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

In Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened, she credits Alternate Nostril Breathing for helping her find peace and calm after the 2016 presidential election. Just like that, the former Secretary of State catapulted Alternate Nostril Breathing into the mainstream as a way to ease stress. However, alternate nostril breathing, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama in Sanskrit, has been around for thousands of years and is highly regarded in the wellness community for its numerous mental and physical benefits. This deep breathing technique is used to clear the mind, reduce stress, and treat anxiety. It is also known to lower heart rate and blood pressure, calm the central nervous system, improve lung capacity, supply additional oxygen to muscles, enhance mental clarity and concentration, and balance both hemispheres of the brain, lungs, and body.

There are different finger placement options for Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. The one I like best requires making a Hang Ten sign with your right hand. You do this by tucking the three fingers between your thumb and pinky into the palm. Gently place your right thumb on the right nostril and your pinky finger on the left nostril. Seal the left nostril while inhaling deeply through the right nostril. Seal the right nostril, release the pinky and expel the air through the left nostril. Next inhale thorough the left nostril and seal that nostril. Release and exhale through the right nostril. Continue by inhaling through right nostril and repeat this sequence back and forth on the left and right sides.

Give Nadi Shodhana Pranayama a try for a few minutes. You may be surprised by how serene you feel during and after this breathing practice. If it helped Hillary Clinton find peace after the election, it might work for you too! And to be completely honest, in a recent interview Ms. Clinton also mentioned something about the healing qualities of Chardonnay…

Be aware of your breathing. Notice how this takes attention away from your thinking and creates space. 

– Eckhart Tolle


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