Yoga is not only about acing the perfect postures, it is also about one’s ability to control their breathing so as to relieve the body of immediate and long-term issues. It is also said that an able breathing technique can enable people to balance the tridoshas or the three types of nature — vata, pitta and kapha. It is considered that any disbalance in these doshas often leads to health issues. Which is why it is extremely important to focus on one’s breathing and take slow, deep breaths.
Doing just that is actor Gauri Pradhan who can be seen practising ‘Anulom Vilom’, a type of pranayama or deep breathing yoga practice. Also called alternate nostril breathing, this age-old practice helps relieve stress and anxiety.
She captioned the post, “Trying to find some balance in life”.
How to do it?
*Sit in Sukhasana or Padmasana with your hands resting on the knees.
*Fold the middle and index fingers of your right hand toward the palm. Only the right hand is used in this practice.
*Breathe with the left nostril and close the right one with the right thumb and inhale slowly to fill up air in your lungs. It is important you place your hands the right way.
*Now, exhale slowly from the right nostril.
*Repeat at least for five minutes, close to 60 breaths.
*Keep the back straight and shoulders relaxed.
When to do it?
*Doing this first thing in the morning is said to help boost one’s energy. It is also said to aid better sleep when practised before sleep. However, avoid practising the asana until four hours after meals.
While there are various research studies, including a 2013-study published in International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy which indicated how regular practice can help decrease systolic blood pressure, there is no conclusive study on the benefits of the technique yet.
Nevertheless, practitioners of the asana as well as yoga experts point out some of the benefits.
*It is considered to be effective when dealing with respiratory issues like asthma and allergies.
*Helps in relaxing the nervous system, and therefore keeps stress and anxiety at bay.
*It is also considered an effective practice to develop patience and focus.
*Is believed to improve brain function as well as cardiovascular health. As per a National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) 2012 study, beneficial effects of short term (15 days) regular pranayama and meditation practice on cardiovascular functions irrespective of age, gender, and BMI in normal healthy individuals was observed.
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