If you can breathe, you can practice yoga! It's really that simple! Even if you're bed-bound, even if you're unable to touch your toes, even if you hate practicing asana (physical yoga poses), you can still be a yogi!
Today I am going to show you how to practice a pranayama or breathing exercise for anxiety. This technique is called Nadi Shodhana, one-nostril breathing. By only using one nostril at a time, this breathing technique slows down the rate of respiration. Taking these deeper, slower, more controlled breaths can help us reduce anxiety. Nadi Shodhana can be practiced anytime, but I especially love to use it right before bedtime to help me get a good night's sleep.
Nadi Shodhana balances and integrates the right and left hemispheres of the brain with rhythmic breath control that alternates between the right and the left nostrils. This can benefit certain types of anxiety. It can also help to relieve fatigue, insomnia, headaches and migraines. This breathing technique may feel a bit unusual at first, which is okay, but the breath should never feel forced.
After this practice, as with any pranayama, it is normal to feel a bit lightheaded or maybe like your whole body is a bit tingly all over since we are bringing so much fresh oxygen, fresh prana, into the body. If this happens, simply come back to your natural flow of breath through both nostrils and allow your body time to adjust.
For a full tutorial on Nadi Shodhana, play the video below!