Nadi Shodhana breathing technique
This breathing technique through the nose, also known as Anulon Vilom Pranayama, originated in India (nadi means energy channel, shodhan means to cleanse and pranayama means breathing technique). It helps to clear blocks in the energy channels and brings peace to the mind. After only practicing it for a couple of minutes, you will feel the difference: tension and fatigue will disappear and you feel calm again.
How to practice Nadi Shodhan Pranayama?
- Sit comfortably with a smile on your face, back straight and shoulders relaxed.. Close your eyes.
- Place your left hand on your left knee, the palm facing upwards and thumb and index finger touching lightly (Chin mudra).
- Place the tips of the index and middle finger between the eyebrows without pressure, the top of the ring finger on the left nostril and the top of the thumb on the right nostril. You use your ring finger to open and close the left nostril and the thumb to open and close the right nostril.
- Close your right nostril by pressing the thumb and calmly breathe out through the left nostril.
- Through the same left nostril, breathe in, close the left nostril with your ring finger, open the right nostril by lifting your thumb and breathe out through the right nostril.
- Through the same right nostril, breathe in, close the right nostril while opening the left one and breathe out through the left nostril. You have now completed one round of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama.
- Continue for nine more rounds, alternating between the two nostrils. Remember to breathe in through the same nostril after breathing out. Keep your eyes closed and breathe naturally without any force (no Ujjay-breath).
Nadi Shodhan Pranayama helps to relax the mind and prepare it for meditation (optional). In case you start to feel tired or start yawning, you can check the duration of the in- and outgoing breath: the outgoing breath should be longer than the incoming breath. If you get dizzy, this shows that your breathing is too forceful.
The benefits of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama
- Calms the mind and helps to focus better
- Helps to bring the mind to the present.
- Has a therapeutic effect in most breathing disorders
- Helps to relieve stress in body and mind and keeps you focussed
- Helps the left and right hemisphere to collaborate better and to balance the rational and emotional side of your personality
- Helps to clear blocks in the energy channels to improve the flow of prana
- Helps to keep the body temperature stable
You can practice this technique two or three times a day with an empty stomach.
For a demonstration of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama, please click on the picture below
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