Sunday, March 25, 2018

Abide by these 5 Do's and Don'ts for a happy partnership

Relationships are meant to to be treasured and cultivated. Following some basic rules may help you deepen and strengthen your bond. Abide by these 5 Do's and Don'ts for a happy partnership - this article, by Taylor Bennett, was originally published on Thriveworks

Don't miss the 5 Do's by Nidhi Idnani, iReikiNow :-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Your nose knows! And it is time you know too!

Feeling anxious? Stressed? Are you unable to focus? Do you feel exhausted or overwhelmed? If any of this describes you, do yourself a favor and practice Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. The Sanskrit words Nadi means channel or meridiens and Shodhana means to purify. Thus, nadi shodhana refers to cleansing the pathways or channels of energy so that energy or Pranaa or Qi can flow easily within the body. Also called Alternate nostril breathing (ANB), it is one of the best breathing techniques that helps to purify on all levels - mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.

Read More: Deep breathing - The best and free medicine


A study conducted in 2013 proved that Alternate Nostril Breathing alters brainwaves, positively influences cognitive processes and helps the brain perform better on tasks that require sustained attention. Another study shows that it reduces blood pressure for those suffering with hypertension. Additional benefits of Nadi Shodhana include:

  • Balances the left and right hemisphere of the brain
  • Balances the nadis or the subtle energy channels within the body, allowing energy or Qi to flow smoothly within the body
  • Calms the mind and brings it to the present moment 
  • Helps to let go of negative and toxic thoughts and emotions
  • Improves clarity and focus
  • Improves respiratory function and increases lung capacity
  • Increases the supply of oxygen to the body 
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Relaxes the muscular system
  • Releases toxins 
  • Sets the stage for deep meditation

How to practice:

  • Posture: Sit in Sukhasana or Easy pose. This is one of the best poses for breathing exercises and meditation. It has tremendous health benefits.
  • Alternate: You could also sit on a chair with the feet uncrossed and flat on the floor.
  • Allow your spine to be straight, and make sure that your head and back are aligned.
  • Rest your left hand in your lap with your palm upward and your fingers gently glued together.
  • Gently close the eyes.
  • Begin with a few deep breaths. Take a deep inhale and slow, gentle exhale. Repeat this for a few breaths. Then follow the steps below:

Steps for one round of Nadi shodhana:

  1. Bring your right hand in front of your face, keeping the index finger, middle finger and ring finger gently glued together.
  2. Take a slow and deep inhale with both nostrils.
  3. Close your right nostril with the right thumb. Hold your breath for a moment.
  4. Gently and fully exhale from the left nostril, pausing briefly at the end of the exhale.
  5. Inhale slowly from the left nostril.
  6. Close the left nostril with your little finger. (For a brief moment, both the nostrils are closed, helping you to pause.)
  7. Release the thumb from the right nostril.
  8. Exhale slowly and completely from the right nostril, pausing briefly at the end of the exhale.
  9. Inhale slowly from the right nostril
  10. Close the right nostril with your right thumb. (For a brief moment, both the nostrils are closed, helping you to pause.)
  11. Release your little finger from your left nostril
  12. Gently and fully exhale from the left nostril.
This completes one cycle. Repeat for at least 10 cycles. End the practice with a few deep breaths. Keep your eyes closed for a few moments. Observe your thoughts, emotions and sensations. Then, gently open your eyes, allowing yourself to continue with your daily routine but promising yourself to take the awareness of the breath with you throughout the day.


  • Start the practice by exhaling from the left, and end the cycle by exhaling from the left.
  • Place a pillow under your buttocks when sitting in Sukhasana. This will help to strengthen the lower spine and relax the hips downwards.
  • Hold the breath as per your capability. Those suffering from asthma or any other respiratory or cardiac issues need not hold the breath.
  • Keep the breath natural. With practice, the length of the inhales and exhales will increase.
  • Consistency is important. 
  • Ideally, practice this on an empty stomach 

When to practice: 

Practice Nadi shodhana or ANB every morning and evening to experience its many benefits. Use it when you feel that you are hitting a mental fog and need to focus. It is a great alternative to caffeine for that afternoon pick-me-up and does not have any side effects. Any time you face anxiety, or nervousness such as before an interview, a big meeting or a test, or just feeling overwhelmed by the endless daily routine, is a good time to practice this too. Practicing Nadi Shodhana at those times will balance the energy flow within the body and will help restore an inner calmness.

Finally, use it as a coping mechanism and a de-stressing tool, as evidenced by Hillary Clinton's use and endorsement of Nadi Shodhana. In her book, What Happened, and in an interview with Anderson Cooper, while referring to ANB, Hillary said "I would highly recommend it....It is very relaxing".  In fact, she thinks that ANB may be an effective alternative to anti-anxiety medication.

If, after the biggest setback of her professional career, Nadi Shodhana worked for Hillary, imagine how effectively it can ease our daily pressures and bring wellness into our life.

So give it a shot. Your nose knows! Reap the benefits of Alternate Nostril Breathing!

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be a guideline. Always practice Yoga Asanas or Pranayama with an expert before attempting on your own.