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Nadi Shodana – breathing technique under stress

Nadi Shodana – breathing technique under stress
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What is the Indian pranayama ritual nadi shodana? Can he help us deal with the challenges of stress at work and in the big city?

Nadi Shodana - breathing technique under stress


Nadi Shodana is an ancient ritual of pranayama yoga exercises. In this technique, we inhale and exhale in a controlled manner, alternating the left and right nostrils, thus regulating directly our respiratory flow and indirectly – our energy body.

Highly recommended for people who struggle on a daily basis with overloaded schedule and increased stressors. The exercise occupies top places in the rankings for office yoga, because it does not require even a mat, but only a calm enough environment for no and 10 minutes.

The name comes from the ancient Sanskrit language, in which the word “nadi” means flow. In this case we mean those channels in our body at the  physical and energy level. These are the flows through which our life energy flows in literal and alchemical. meaning.

The ritual of shodana consists in the purification and renewal of precisely these channels. As a result, we feel refreshed and somehow calmer.

Nadi Shodana - breathing technique under stress

This is one of those breathing exercises (so-called pranayama part of hatha yoga) that play a particularly important role in our well-being both physically and spiritually.

The ritual consists of breathing through only one nostril, alternating between the two. Nadi Shodana has been proven to improve the condition of our lungs, respiratory health and overall tone. At the same time, this exercise calms the pulse and improves the function of blood vessels. Nadi shodana is also a particularly suitable practice for balancing the feminine and masculine beginnings in each of us. Because of all these qualities, this exercise balances stress levels.

Breathing exercises are a particularly important part of physical activity, because the lungs are responsible for supplying oxygen to our entire body. In addition, the breath is the main portal to our spirituality. It has long been clear to modern science that breath control exercises can help us overcome stressful situations.

Remember how in Western culture it is common to serve a paper bag to a person who is upset to breathe in it. But why should we need the bag, if we can exercise control over our breathing without any aids, thus calming down. In addition, in this way we can minimize the harmful effects of stress on our health.

Nadi Shodana is a very simple technique with which we can return to balance when needed. At the same time, it is very easy to insert it into our daily routine. When we gain experience in yoga and breathing exercises,  we find that even in the office we can be alone and get rid of the accumulated stress in just five minutes thanks to  nadi shodana.

Nadi Shodana is also a very good way to warm up before yoga practice. In combination with exercise, breathing techniques are extremely effective. They renew the cells in the body and saturate them with oxygen, making it easier for us we deal with difficult situations.

Nadi Shodana - breathing technique under stress

For the correct performance of nadi shodana it is necessary to apply a combination of two mudras: these can be, for example, Vishnu and jnana mudra or rank mudra, or nasagra and jnana or rank mudra.


The wise – types and functions

The mudras are a whole separate subclass in hatha yoga and are usually done in combination with pranayama techniques. It is important to know that these finger gestures in this case have both physical and spiritual dimensions. Therefore, in order to achieve the specific goal through Ayurveda, it is especially important to add the exact wise facial expressions,  to enhance the effectiveness of our practice.

In the case of nadi shodana, one function of the mudra that we will choose to perform with our right hand, of course, is to keep one by one our nostrils closed, so that we can do nadi shodana. Vishnu mudra is practiced with the right hand because it is a symbol of acceptance.

 This mudra is a symbol of balance in the universe, whose guardian is the god Vishnu. Mudra is also a powerful means of achieving harmony. Therefore, if our goal is to get rid of stress, it is advisable to  find a place for the mudra of Vishnu.

  • Vishnu mudra. She is associated with the eponymous Hindu deity – guardian of peace and harmony. It is performed by retracting the index finger and middle finger of your right hand inward toward the palm. Then we extend our thumb on one side against the right nostril, and the ring finger and the little finger – against the left. In this way we take a comfortable position to close both nostrils in succession.
  • Nasagra mudra. If we want to replace Vishnu mudra with nasagra mudra, we just have to stretch the index finger and middle finger of our right hand, resting their tips on our forehead. In this way we can press our nostrils sequentially. .

Again, the thumb is responsible for the right and the left nostril with the help of our ring finger. The puppy may not be used, or it may help the nameless. When performing nasagra mudra, it is important to make sure the elbow of our right hand is in front of the body as close to the chest as possible.

Nadi Shodana - breathing technique under stress

  • Gnyana (jnana, dhyana) mudra. We can rest our left hand calmly on our left knee with the palm facing up, retracting all our fingers except the thumb and forefinger. We are now ready to begin our nadi shodana
  • Chin mudra The rotten mudra can also be replaced by chin mudra. It is exactly the same composition of the fingers when the palm is down to the knee.  Chin mudra is more appropriate when we want to concentrate on the connection with our Higher Self and the emphasis is more on the exalting effect of the nadi shodana ritual. Both the rank of the mudra and the wicked mudra can be said with full force to lift the overall mood and illuminate us with happiness in life.

On the other hand, the practice of breathing techniques in combination with rotten mudra favors meditative activity. This is why Ayurvedics recommend using jnana mudra when our goal is to achieve peace of mind and harmonize our energies. Gnana has the best influence on vayu – the element of air in our country.


The ideal mudra for focusing and clearing the mind

There are many complex prerequisites that determine the need for the application of one or another mudra. It’s normal to feel insecure about what exactly your own problem is all about. In addition, it may be purely physiological, or so deeply coded that regression therapy may be required. To make sure that you have chosen the right mudra and performed it properly, consult a specialist.

In the beginning  the Ayurvedic ritual above the shodana  is completely safe. He can only help us. However, this can only happen if we have applied it correctly. It is preferable, at least until you learn, to follow the instructions of an expert, and it is best if you can be observed and guided.

Of particular importance is the pace of each inhalation and exhalation, and it should be as slow as possible. If you have difficulty  tracking the sequence of inhaling, holding, exhaling and holding, you can number the relevant actions and list them in your mind. Also try to breathe on your stomach. When exhaling, make sure that your stomach and lungs are left as empty as possible.

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