Nadi Shodhana, a quick 'n easy way to reduce stress

Stress effects your health.  

...On the skin, it encourages a process called glycation, a stress effect on the skin that damages collagen, hardening it, increasing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

...On blood pressure, stress can cause hypertension through repeated blood pressure elevations as well as by stimulation of the nervous system to produce large amounts of vasoconstricting hormones that increase blood pressure.

...On the brain, cortisol has been shown to damage and kill cells in the hippocampus (the brain area responsible for your episodic memory) and there is robust evidence that chronic stress causes premature brain aging.


A quick and easy yogic way to help relieve stress is alternate nostril breathing or "Nadi Shodhana".  

Every four hours or so, we naturally cycle through breathing through the left nostril and then switching to the right nostril.  Breathing through the right nostril supports the sympathetic nervous system and heating functions of the body.  Breathing through the left supports the parasympathetic nervous system or cooling functions of the body.

Nadi Shodhana means “clearing the channels of circulation.”  Performing alternate nostril breathing:

Improves our ability focus the mind

Balances the left and right brain hemispheres

Clears the energetic channels

Supports our lungs and respiratory functions

Removes toxins

Rejuvenates the nervous system


Kirsten Erickson, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT200, RYT500, iRest® Yoga Nidra Level 1 Teacher, Yoga Wellness North