Last year I was lucky to be invited the very first menopause yoga retreat in Spain; I have to say it was one of the best weeks of my life, the whole week was dedicated to calming both body and mind.
I have been in the industry for 25 years and have seen and practised many modalities of fitness.
What I had not come across before was alternative nostril breathing. I love to know why I am doing something and what positive affects it has on both body and mind; this has such a positive affect on both.
Meditative breathing is great for balancing hormones and helping with our heart therefore reducing risk of stroke and heart disease.
Real “Yogi’s” call it Nadi Shodhana, and it is a powerful breathing practice with wide reaching benefits. Nadi is a Sanskrit word meaning “channel” or “flow” and shodhana means “purification.”
I think you will agree that a lot of the benefits you help with menopausal symptoms.
Helps balance hormones Reduces stress and anxiety Calms and rejuvenates the nervous system Helps concentrationFosters mental clarity and an alert mindInfuses the body with oxygenClears and releases toxinsSupports clear and balanced respiratory channelsHelps to alleviate respiratory allergies that cause hay fever, sneezing, or wheezingEnhances the ability to concentrateBrings balance to the left and right hemispheres of the brainSupports clear and balanced respiratory channels
So now you know the background and benefits let look at how you can practice it. You can practice it anytime but for best results if you practice this in the morning within the first 20-30 minutes of waking it actively helps to reduce your cortisol levels which have a peak around this time. This will help to reduce your perceived stress, heart rate, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. As well as setting you up for the rest of the day feeling clear and relaxed.
Firstly blow your nose.
The idea is to block off one nostril, breathe out and then in the open nostril, close both nostrils and open the nostril that was blocked first, and repeat
While it doesn’t sound all that difficult, getting the setup can be a little tricky at times and it did take me a little while to get used to it; I have been practising it for the last couple of days and it has helped my festive menopause anxiety!
Here is a great YouTube video to help take you through the process.
Enjoy and let me know how you get on.