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This Breathing Technique is a Life Hack for Stress Relief (Tutorial)

Teresa Mason
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We have all had experiences that raise our blood pressure and make us want to get the hell outta dodge. That’s life! Stress doesn’t discriminate, and it affects all of us. When the end of the work day is still hours away and you are looking for some stress relief ASAP, here is a little stress-busting life hack from us at YogiApproved.

This simple pranayama breathing technique will balance your left and right brain, and calm your heart rate. Practice this in your office to give you a zen feeling that will get you to close, or anytime you need some immediate stress relief.
 

The Benefits of Practicing Nadi Shodhana for Stress Relief

Nadi refers to “channels,” which flow throughout your body, similar to meridians in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Shodhana means “to clear,” or to balance.

This pranayama exercise brings fresh oxygen through the nadis of your body in order to cleanse and equalize the left and right side of your brain. This brings your masculine and feminine energies into alignment, ultimately resulting in stress relief.
 
Nadi Shodhana also balances hormones and calms the nervous system. This technique is perfect if you are overwhelmed at work, stressed out, or if your to-do list keeps you up at night. Just a few moments of Nadi Shodhana can calm your mind, body, and emotions.
 

Basically, this is an all-natural chill pill for yogis.

 

How to Practice Nadi Shodhana for Stress Relief

Place the two peace fingers of your right hand on your third eye and give yourself a little massage to become present.
 
stress relief-1
 
Now we’ll begin the breathing technique. Using your thumb and ring finger, you’ll alternate nostrils as you breathe. Here’s how to do that:
 
stress relief-2
 

  • Close the right nostril with your thumb, inhale 4 counts into the left nostril
  • Use your ring finger to close the left nostril, lift your thumb and exhale for 4 counts out of the right nostril
  • Keep the ring finger pressed against your nose, inhale 4 counts through your right and switch to your left to exhale for 4
  • Inhale 4 on the left, exhale 4 on the right, inhale 4 on the right and exhale 4 on the left
  • Repeat for 3-5 minutes

 

 

Try These Variations of Nadi Shodhana

Now that you’re comfortable with the practice, try these variations for even more stress relief.
 

1. At Your Desk

At your desk, root down through your feet like in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Feel the four corners of each foot firmly on the floor. Bring your right hand up for Nadi Shodhana, and place your left palm on your left thigh or heart for additional grounding. Sit tall and allow your eyes to close.
 
 

2. Add Half Cow Face Pose

Another way to practice Nadi Shodhana at work is to take half cow face pose with your arms. This will help with poor posture from sitting at a desk or computer.
 
stress relief-4
 
First, with your right hand in Nadi Shodhana, take your left hand and open out to the left, and then around your back, allowing the back of your left hand to rest on your spine. Make sure to sit up tall, and keep your heart open to give your lungs lots of space to breathe! Spend a few minutes on both sides to keep your body even.
 
 

3. Add a Mudra

Similar to the first variation, ground down with your feet. But, with your left hand, take a mudra.
 
stress relief-3
 
Focus your breath on the whichever mudra you chose and breathe strength and intention into it. Imagine a light that glows brighter with every inhale, or a light that expands around you with each breath.
 

How’s That for Instant Stress Relief?!

When tensions are high in the workplace or anywhere else, it can be hard to get through the day. With this simple pranayama technique, you can reduce stress and calm your central nervous system so you can power through with compassion and a light heart.
 
Have you tried Nadi Shodhana for stress relief? What other variations have you tried? Let us know in the comments.
 

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Teresa Mason

Teresa is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor and a Karma Kids certified kids yoga instructor. Her top passions are yoga, books, cats, and nutrition. She hopes to show that yoga is for everyone and to inspire others to find balance and self-love on their yoga and mindfulness journey.

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