Alternate Nostril Breathing/Alternate Nostril Breathing/Nadhi Shodhana:

This exercise purifies the nadis (energy channels in the astral body) of all impurities. Once one’s nadis are purified, the kundalini energy can freely flow through the sushumna (spinal column). It balances the chakras, and calms the mind. It oxygenates the blood, and effectively brings oxygen to the deep tissues and organs thereby effectively removing toxins that cause disease and pain.

“The mind and breath are interconnected. A steady breath means a calm mind and a calm mind helps steady the breath. Therefore one must learn control over the breath. When impurities are present in the nadis (energy channels in the astral body), it is impossible for the breath to flow through the sushumna (the most important nadi in the astral body, which corresponds to the spinal canal in the physical body). Therefore it is important that one practicing pranayam, should do so in a sattvic (pure, virtuous) state of mind. Pranayam done correctly will cure a person of diseases, whereas done incorrectly it could cause diseases. The disorders of pawan (air element/breath) cause hiccups, asthma, cough, headaches, earaches, pain in eyes etc. Hence one should pay careful attention when inhaling and exhaling. The body of a person whose nadis are pure will be lean and glowing. Purification of nadis leads to good health.” ~ Hatha Yoga Pradipika

1. Sit in lotus pose, or easy pose (criss cross) or on a chair

2. Keep your spine straight and your chin slightly tucked in towards your chest

3. Rest you left hand on your left knee, palm facing up, in gyan mudra (index finger pad touching the thumb pad)

4. Raise you right arm and using your right thumb, press on the side of your right nostril and inhale slowly and deeply through your left nostril (your inhalation should be inaudible)

5. Once you have inhaled completely, using your little and ring finger of your right hand, press on the left side of your nose and exhale slowly through the right nostril (exhalation should be inaudible)

6. Keeping the little and ring finger pressed on the left side of your nose, inhale through the right nostril.

7. Block the right nostril with your right thumb and exhale through the left nostril.

8. This completes one round

9. You may begin with 5 rounds daily and increase the number of rounds based on your capacity.

10. Do not strain. You should not be out of breath when practicing this. Do it with enthusiasm and faith. Keep your eyes closed when practicing.

11. Practice in this manner until you are ready to move on to the next level that involves breath retention.

Once you have gained a good level of comfort in doing this you can proceed to doing anulom vilom with kumbhaka (breath retention)

It is done as above, except each inhalation will be followed by breath retention per one’s capacity only. One should not strain.

CAUTION: Breath retention should not be practiced by individuals who suffer from high blood pressure, cardiac issues, epilepsy, stroke or other heat related disorders as breath retention increases heat in the body.

1. Sit in lotus pose, or easy pose (criss cross) or on a chair

2. Keep your spine straight and your chin slightly tucked in towards your chest

3. Rest you left hand on your left knee, palm facing up, in gyan mudra (index finger pad touching the thumb pad)

4. Raise you right arm and using your right thumb, press on the side of your right nostril and inhale slowly and deeply through your left nostril (your inhalation should be inaudible) into your lungs (not your stomach)

5. Once you have inhaled completely, hold your breath as per your capacity while keeping the thumb pressed on the right nostril

6. Using your little and ring finger of your right hand, press on the left side of your nose and exhale slowly through the right nostril (exhalation should be inaudible)

7. Keeping the little and ring finger pressed on the left side of your nose, inhale through the right nostril. Hold your breath per your capacity

8. Block the right nostril with your right thumb and exhale through the left nostril

9. This completes one round of anulom vilom with kumbhaka (breath retention)

10. You may begin with 5 rounds daily and increase the number of rounds based on your capacity.

11. This exercise purifies the nadis (energy channels in the astral body)

12. Do not strain. You should not be out of breath when practicing this. Do it with enthusiasm and faith. Keep your eyes closed when practicing.

Once you have successfully mastered the above, you may proceed with anulom vilom with breath retention in the ratio of 4:16:8 for inhalation:retention:exhalation and as per your capacity move on to the ratio of 12:48:24

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. lindayoga
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 19:45:02

    Love your blog, and I’m happy to meet a fellow yogi!!
    Namaste.

    Reply

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