Try this breathing technique to drive away winter chills | Fitness News

Simple breathing practices help you feel refreshed but can also help you feel warm when the temperatures dip. Yoga trainer Anshuka Parwani took to Instagram to share a glimpse of a breathing technique that according to her can help drive away winter blues as it is a “warming Pranayama”.“Surya Bhedana is a right nostril breathing technique that helps to generate bodily heat and alleviate stiffness in the body due to the low temperatures in winter. The heat produced in the body also helps to clear out your sinuses and cough,” said Parwani.
Parwani mentioned that the “magical Pranayama” aids in increasing the oxygen level in the body and can provide instant relief to individuals suffering from cold hands and feet during winter. “This winter, embrace the power of breathwork!”
Is the practice effective?
Surya Bhedana, a yogic pranayama technique, is rooted in ancient traditions and is often referred to as the practice of “sun piercing” or “right nostril breathing”. “This method involves the manipulation of breath through the right nostril during inhalation and the left nostril during exhalation. The rationale behind this technique lies in the connection between the breath and the autonomic nervous system, specifically the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches,” said fitness expert Garima Goyal.
Know more about this breathing practice (Source: Pexels)
In cold environments, the body naturally seeks to maintain its core temperature. By engaging the sympathetic nervous system through practices like Surya Bhedana, there may be an increase in metabolic activity and heat production. Goyal mentioned that this internal warmth can be especially beneficial when faced with cold weather, as it helps counteract the potential effects of exposure to low temperatures.
According to Goyal, in yogic philosophy, the right nostril is associated with the Pingala Nadi, representing the solar, masculine, and dynamic aspects of energy. The left nostril, on the other hand, is linked to the Ida Nadi, symbolising the lunar, feminine, and receptive qualities. “Surya Bhedana aims to stimulate the Pingala Nadi, thereby activating the sympathetic nervous system. This activation is believed to increase alertness, generate warmth in the body, and enhance vitality,” shared Goyal.
Physiologically, this technique influences the flow of air through the nasal passages and, by extension, alters the oxygen-carbon dioxide balance in the bloodstream. “This modulation is believed to have a direct impact on the autonomic nervous system, with potential benefits for both the mind and body,” said Goyal.
How do you practice correctly?
Practitioners typically assume a comfortable seated position, ensuring a straight spine and relaxed shoulders. “The right hand is then used to manipulate the breath flow, either by using the thumb to close the left nostril or by employing a specific hand mudra. As the right nostril is opened for inhalation and the left for exhalation, a cyclical pattern emerges, fostering a harmonious balance of energy, explained Goyal.

When to practice it?
Practicing Surya Bhedana is often recommended in the morning, “aligning with the symbolism of the sun and its association with awakening and activity”.
What to keep in mind?
It’s important to note that while these concepts are rooted in yogic philosophy, scientific research on the direct impact of specific pranayama practices on body temperature is limited. Individual responses can vary, and the perceived benefits of increased warmth should be understood within the broader context of holistic well-being. “As with any yoga practice, including Pranayama techniques, individuals should approach them mindfully and be aware of their physical condition. If someone is sensitive to temperature extremes or has specific health concerns, consulting with a healthcare professional or an experienced yoga instructor is advisable,” said Goyal.

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