Padadhirasana or simply the breath balancing pose.
This posture is used as preparation for breathing exercise. *It is especially useful when one or both nostrils are blocked.
- Sit on your heels or on a blockwith crossed legs (if you are unable to sit on your heels)
- Cross the arms in front of the chest, placing the hands under the opposite armpits with thumbs pointing upward.
- The point between the thumb and first finger should be firmly pressed.
- Close the eyes and become aware of the breathing process.
*If only one nostril is blocked, or partially blocked, place the hand of the blocked side underneath the opposite armpit. Maintain pressure for a minute or two, although changes may occur within few seconds.
For a stronger effect, make fists of the hands and place them under armpits. You may choose to close the blocked nostril with your free hand.
Duration: 5 – 10 minutes
Benefits: The pressure under both armpits helps to open the nostrils to facilitate the practice of pranayama (breathing techniques that helps with the expansion of your vital force). Since the breath flow in the right and left nostrils influences the activities of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems respectively, opening of the two nostrils induces a state of autonomic balance.
How: From the point of view of Chinese acupuncture. The point of origin of the lung channel on the frontal chest wall (fifth inter-costal space) is being stimulated by pressure, especially by the thumb in Padadhirasana. The lung channels from the left and right side of the body intersect with each other above the upper lip, only to end with their last acupuncture points just near the nostril opening on the opposite side. Therefore, stimulation of the left lung channel will result in opening of the right nostril and vice versa.