Workplace Health and Wellbeing tip: Breath deep to find calm
Breathing is at the root of most ancient mindfulness practices, yoga being no exception. It is known to be one of the most powerful self-regulation tools because of its ability to change and calm the nervous system in just a few seconds, which makes it a powerful health and wellbeing tool for your working week. Hard to believe how quickly you can positively impact your health and wellbeing while at work or on the go in just a few seconds!
Read on for a practical guide that will positively impact your health and wellbeing during the working week.
For us yogis we know through experience that our yoga practice becomes more expansive and integrated when conscious attention is placed on the breath. When we flow merging breath with movement – we create harmony and congruence between the body and the mind. It’s a beautiful thing and ultimately helps us find a calm, equanimous state of being.
One of my favourite calming and centering breathing exercises to do is Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breath). A few minutes of this breathing technique is a great way to de-stress the mind and release accumulated tension and fatigue. And it’s suitable for anyone at any time! Pregnant mummas included 🙂
You can catch me on THLP’s online library giving a video tutorial of this breathing exercise or follow the instructions below.
Read about Hilary Clinton using this breathing exercise following her parliamentary loss.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING TIP: NADI SHODANA – ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING EXERCISE FOR DEEP CALM
Alternate Nostril Breath (nadi = subtle energy channel; shodhan = cleaning, purification) is a balancing breath and body technique..
5 – 10 x full cycles (full cycle is in through left, out of right, in through right out of left)
- Find a nice tall spine
- Chose a hand position; you can bring fingers to Vishnu mudra place thumb and ring finger over the hollow at the top bridge of nose cartilage or you can simply fold the middle finger over the index finger on each hand
- Closing your right nostril with thumb or right index finger, inhale only through the left nostril
- Close the left nostril (apply Kumbhaka “breath retention”/ hold if you’re comfortable with this)
- Open the right nostril, covering the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril
- Inhale through the right nostril (apply Kumbhaka “breath retention”)
- Switch fingers to exhale through the left.
- Alternate between left and right to the ratio of 4 counts (inhale): 2 counts (hold) : 4 counts(exhale). You can build towards 8:4:8.
- Lowers heart rate reducing stress and anxiety
- Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system so healing and rejuvenation becomes a priority
- Balances the two hemispheres of brain functionality as it balances the body
- Increases mental focus and clarity
- Positive impact on mental health
Find equanimity of the energy system by purifying the Nadi’s so that prana (life force) can flow more easily allowing you to feel calmer during your working week.