During winter, many people fall sick with seasonal colds and flu, which can take a toll on the body. As such, Aditi Zawar, a yoga instructor, who often shares videos on wellness, took to Instagram to share a yoga asana that she said can help prevent us from falling sick owing to the weather changes. “It is getting extremely cold out there. If you are someone who is prone to infections like cold, cough, or other flu-related to the colder seasons, here is one prayanam that can help you warm your body,” she said in the video.

Stressing “breath is medicine”, she demonstrated ‘suryabhedi pranayama‘, a breathing technique that requires the practitioner to inhale from the right nostril while holding the other one with a finger and then exhaling through the left nostril. This, she suggested, can be done 8 to 10 times a day.

Explaining its benefits she said, “The suryabhedi pranayama activates the sun element in our body and keeps it warm. . It helps improve your ability to fight flus and infections like cold, sinusitis, bronchitis, Covid, and other respiratory problems. It also purifies the blood and helps relieve symptoms of indigestion.”

Agreeing, yoga trainer Ira Trivedi said that as the pranayama — which focuses only on the right nostril (also known as surya nadi or Pingala) — activates the Surya nadi, which helps kickstart one’s metabolism. “Since the practice aggravates the pitta dosha, it stimulates the digestive fire and aids proper digestion. It further eliminates digestive worms and addresses diseases afflicting the digestion tract, like gas and bloating.”

Trivedi told indianexpress.com that the breathing practise — which draws its name from two words: “surya” or the sun, and “bhedana” that means to enter or pierce through something — additionally helps improve one’s sinus condition because it cleans the frontal sinuses, and helps to improve oxygen flow in the body. 

However, “it is not advisable for people who have high blood pressure and heart diseases,” said Aditi.

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