Nadi Shodhana

Have you been in a super stressful situation in the recent past? If you have, you may have desired to look for a way to mitigate the stress. Different people try and often find myriad ways. These can range from avoidance to confrontation. Experts say that one of the best ways to manage stress is to expose yourself to it repeatedly. Over time, the impact of the cause of the stress reduces. You become conditioned as it were. If this is not something that excites you, you might want to try Nadi Shodhana.

Nadi Shodhana is also known as alternate nostril breathing. Its aim is to regulate the channel or flow of your breathing. You practice it by closing one nostril with a thumb or finger and breathe with the other. You then alternate by closing the other nostril and breathing again. Best done on an empty stomach, you can repeat this for up to ten to fifteen minutes.

The benefits range from a renewed focus of the mind, restoring the balance of the lungs, removal of toxins from your body and strengthening the lungs. More importantly, it helps you relieve stress. The reduction of stress happens because this form of breathing activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System and reduces Blood Pressure. This is a non-strenuous way of improving your breathing; different from running or swimming for example. Therefore this can be done at all ages, and well into your old age. Also, even if you have not been fit in the past, the effort to start does not require any training and therefore motivating yourself to start is a lot easier.

In general, improving your breathing is one of the most important activities that you can engage in. If you do, consider Nadi Shodhana. Even Hillary Clinton swears by it.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.