RELAX: Our yoga guru Pushpa Bakshi.
RELAX: Our yoga guru Pushpa Bakshi. Contributed

Breathe in for good health and vitality

FOLLOWING a presentation on Monday at the Women Connecting Women group and questions on meditation, the most beneficial ways to breath, I have written the next two articles on alternate nostril breathing.

According to our ancient Yoga Veda's and literature, "Nadi" refers to a channel through which flows the life force or energy within a body.

If we were to translate the term Nadi Suddhi it would mean, the purification of the invisible energy channels, eg part of our auric fields.

As mentioned, Nadi Suddhi pranayama is also referred to as Alternate Nostril Breathing.

The benefits of it being practised on a regular basis, along with other breathing exercises, helps improve the overall physical and mental health of a person.

How to perform:

Sit in Padmasana (lotus position), Keep the spine erect and your head and neck straight

Your eyes should be closed so you do not lose focus

Relax the muscles of the body and become aware of your breath

At no point during the exercise should the breath be controlled or forced, just be normal

If you find the Padmasana pose difficult to maintain, you can practise Nadi Suddhi breathing seated on a chair. It is important to make sure that your feet are on the floor and your back is straight throughout the time you are in this posture.

With one hand, let your fingers stretch and bend your index and your middle fingers and place them on the palm of your hand.

Place the thumb on one nostril and the tip of the ring finger against the other nostril.

The thumb and ring finger will be used to close alternate nostrils as you breathe.

Begin the exercise by blocking your left side nostril and breathe out with your right nostril.

Continue to block your left nostril and breathe in using your right nostril.

Open your left nostril as you simultaneously cover and block your right nostril. Breathe out slowly using the open left nostril.

Once this is done go ahead and breathe in with your left nostril that is open.

Close the left nostril and let the air move out through your right nostril that you now leave open.

This is considered one cycle. The breathing should be slow and rhythmic.

Try this for four to five rounds this week.

Pushpa is a certified yoga teacher. She is also a Reiki master and trained in natural healing. Pushpa has travelled the world as a senior leader for life coach and motivational speaker Anthony Robbins. Contact Pushpa on 0450 582 540 or pb@kabc.com.au.