Updated: Oct 14, 2022
Infuses body with oxygen
Clears and releases toxins
Reduces stress and anxiety
Calms and rejuvenates the nervous system
Helps to balance hormones
Supports clear and balanced respiratory channels
Fosters mental clarity and an alert mind
Enhances the ability to concentrate
HOW TO PRACTICE
Nadi shodhana is wonderful to practice before meditation or when you need a little calm in your mind.
Choose a comfortable sitting position. Lengthen the spine and softly close the eyes.
Begin by taking a full, deep inhalation and release your exhalation. Bring the right hand into Vishnu mudra by folding the tips of the index and middle fingers inward until they touch the palm at the base of the right thumb. During this practice, you will alternately use the right thumb to close the right nostril and the right ring and pinky fingers (together) to close the left nostril.
First, use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale gently, but fully, through the left nostril.
Keeping the right nostril closed, inhale through the left nostril and deep into the belly. As you inhale, allow the breath to travel upward; see if you can imagine or feel the breath pass through the left lung, the left side of the throat, face, and head. Pause briefly at the crown of the head.
Next, use the ring and pinky fingers of the right hand to gently close the left nostril and simultaneously release the right nostril. Exhale through the right nostril, surrendering the breath down the right side of the body. Pause gently at the bottom of the exhalation.
Keeping the left nostril closed, inhale again through the right nostril, drawing the breath back up from the right side of the lung, throat, face, and head, pausing briefly at the crown of the head.
Then again, use the right thumb to close the right nostril as you release the left nostril. Exhale through the left nostril, surrendering the breath back down the left side of the body. Pause gently at the bottom of the exhalation.
This completes one round of nadi shodhana. The same pattern continues for each additional round. It is important that the breath remain slow, fluid, and relaxed throughout the practice.
Nadi shodhana can be immensely soothing, even when practiced for as little as five minutes. Practicing daily for ten minutes offers even deeper benefits.
When you are ready to close your practice, complete your final round of nadi shodhana with an exhalation through the left nostril. Relax your right hand and place it comfortably in your lap as you take a few more slow deep breaths. Then, allow your breath to return to normal. As you do so, notice your state of mind. How are you feeling? What sensations are present in your body? Just quietly observe the effects of the practice for a few moments. Then, gently open your eyes, continuing to stay connected to the body.