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Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate Nostril Breathing post image

Nadi Shodhana

Benefits

  • Balances the flows of ida and pingala nadis, and opens the flow of sushumna nadi which leads to spiritual awakening
  • Stimulates the right & left hemispheres of the brain to work optimally, resulting in greater clarity, creativity, and intuition
  • Harmonizes the prana vayus to increase vitality and reduce stress
  • Purifies the blood and nourishes the entire body with oxygen
  • Regulates the temperature of the body

Effects

To Practice:

*Important: be careful to never strain the body or lungs in any way while attempting this practice. Keep the body as relaxed as possible for optimum benefit.

Nadi Shodhana

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The Basic Technique

  1. Sit comfortably with the spine lengthening.
  2. Bring the right hand to nasagra mudra: bring the index and middle fingers to rest on the eyebrow center (or simply fold them down); the right thumb will close the right nostril, and the right ring finger will close the left nostril. The left hand can simply rest on the left knee.
  3. Using the Right hand, close the Right nostril with the thumb.
  4. Inhale through the Left nostril.
  5. Close the Left nostril with the Right ring finger, and Exhale completely through the Right nostril.
  6. Inhale through the Right nostril.
  7. Close the Right nostril with the thumb, and Exhale through the Left nostril.
  8. This is one round. Continue practicing for 10 rounds.
  9. When beginning this practice, the inhale and exhale should be equal duration (inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts or a 1:1 ratio).
  10. Gradually increase these counts up to 24:24. If there is any discomfort, reduce the count.
  11. After the above ratio is practiced comfortably, you may change the above ratio to 1:2 (for example, inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 8 counts). Gradually increase these counts to 12:24.

Alternate Technique: With Antar Kumbhaka (Inner Breath Retention)

  1. Close the Right nostril with the thumb.
  2. Inhale through the Left nostril for 5 counts.
  3. At the end of inhalation, close both nostrils and hold the breath for 5 counts.
  4. Open the Right nostril, Inhale slightly, and then Exhale for 5 counts through the Right nostril.
  5. Inhale through the Right nostril for 5 counts.
  6. Close both nostrils and hold for 5 counts.
  7. Open the Left nostril, Inhale slightly, and Exhale for 5 counts through the Left nostril.
  8. This is one round. Continue practicing for 10 rounds.
  9. Begin with the ratio of 1:1:1. When this can be practiced with ease, increase the ratio to 1:1:2.
  10. Gradually this ratio can be increased to 1:2:2, 1:3:2, and 1:4:2 (it usually takes a few years to build up to this).

Contraindications

  • Never rush or force the breath,  nor breathe through the mouth, for this practice.
  • At the slightest sign of discomfort, reduce the duration of inhalation/exhalation or discontinue the practice for the day.
  • Nadi Shodhana should be practiced with an empty stomach.

Please Note

The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, nor to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. By entering this site, you agree to the Terms and Conditions.
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