Autumn can be a difficult time to find balance. Fall marks the time of moving inward and nurturing ourselves, but life can have a way of pulling us outwards. Finding practices that help us turn inward can help with the demand to live externally.
Nadi Shodhana is a breathing practice that focuses on moving the breath through one nostril at a time. In Sanskrit, Nadi translates to ‘energetic channel’ and Shodhana means ‘to cleanse.’ In previous classes, we have incorporated this breathing technique at the end of our yoga practice as a way to balance our physical and energetic body. There are thousands of energetic channels in the body, two primary ones are located on the right and left side, each having an endpoint at the nose. When we breathe in a cyclical way we are able to bring balance to these energetic channels by breathing through one nostril at a time. Intentional breathing practices can ease the sympathetic nervous system and reduce pain. Alternate nostril breathing is a perfect balanced breath practice because it brings enough warmth to encourage circulation without being too heating.
This week we will work to be aware of our nostril breathing as we move. It is important to notice which side of our nostril is more open at different times in our practice as a way of checking in and diving into the moment.