Channel Cleaning Breath - Nadi Shohana Pranayama

Channel Cleaning Breath - Nadi Shohana Pranayama

"Take a deep breath." We hear that so often – from a parent comforting a child, a physician coaching a woman in childbirth, even from the operator on the other end of a 911 call. Our stress effects our breath and vice versa. Staggered, shallow breathing is a typical stress response and can cause further agitation. By managing our breath, we can manage our stress level.

Channel Cleaning Breath, or Alternate Nostril Breathing is a wonderful exercise in breath awareness. Like many breath exercises it can soothe the nervous system and provide many health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure, decreased anxiety and stress reduction. Known as a cleansing breath, Channel Cleansing also purifies the energy channels, and brings balance to the mind and body, bringing one closer to a meditative state.

Too come into this breath, sit in a comfortable position. Gently close your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril, then close it with your ring or little finger. Open and exhale slowly through the right nostril. Keep the right nostril open, inhale, then close it, and open and exhale slowly through the left. Imagine the circular movement of the breath as it travels up one side of the body, and down the other. This is one cycle. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then release the hand and go back to normal breathing.

Benefits

Studies have shown that conscious breathing can reduce stress and stress-related conditions by soothing the autonomic nervous system. Lowered blood pressure and heart rate are benefits of breath awareness, as well as reduced amounts of stress hormones, reduced lactic acid build-up in muscle tissue and improved immune system functioning.

Conscious breathing can help alleviate:

Anxiety

Asthma

Chronic fatigue

syndrome

Chronic pain

High blood pressure

Insomnia

Panic attacks

Some skin conditions, such as eczema


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