Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Breathe to beat the blues

One of the most common and unsettling symptoms experienced by peri-menopausal and menopausal women is anxiety.

You may feel apprehensive and powerless, or may have a sense of impending danger, panic or doom, your heart rate increases, you start breathing rapidly, you may sweat even when the temperature outside hasn't increased, you may experience some trembling. You often feel weak or tired for no apparent reason.


Though yoga is a great cure for anxiety, some people cannot even contemplate attending a yoga class when they suffer from a paralyzing anxiety attack.

Pranayama (Yogic breathing techniques) can help you dispel anxiety and regain balance in your life.
If you can, try and go for a walk in the park or in the forest, avoid busy and crowded places, and when you find a nice spot, sit and practice this very simple and effective breathing exercise.
You can also practice Pranayama at home, but its effect will be stronger if you tap into the primal source of energy, nature. 

Spending 20 minutes a day in the sunlight and fresh air provides your body with vitamin D, a nutrient that affects depression and anxiety disorders, while correct breathing techniques relax the mind and body.

NADI SHODHANA
Nadi shodhana, or the sweet breath, is a simple form of alternate nostril breathing suitable for everyone. Nadi means channel and refers to the energy pathways through which prana flows. Shodhana means cleansing.
Nadi Shodhana calms the mind, soothes anxiety and stress, balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain, promotes clear thinking

INSTRUCTIONS
Sit in a comfortable position. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Do this to the count of four seconds.
Immediately close the left nostril with your right ring finger and little finger, and at the same time remove your thumb from the right nostril, and exhale through this nostril. Do this to the count of eight seconds. This completes a half round.
Inhale through the right nostril to the count of four seconds. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and exhale through the left nostril to the count of eight seconds. This completes one full round.

Start by doing three rounds, adding one per week..

CAUTION:
Alternate nostril breathing should not be practiced if you have a cold or if your nasal passages are blocked in any way.


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