Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Instructions and Benefits
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is an amazing breathing technique that facilitates one keep the mind calm, happy and peaceful. All you need to focus on is a just a few minutes of Nadi Shodhan pranayama in the course of a day to de-stress the mind. This will also help you release all of the accumulated tension and fatigue within. The breathing technique is also named as Nadi Shodhan because it is extremely helpful in clearing out blocked energy channels inside the body. This helps in calming the mind.
How to Practice Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing):
Step 1: Sit comfortably with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.
Step 2: Keep a gentle smile on your face.
Step 3: Place your left hand on the left knee, palms open to the sky.
Step 4: Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of the right hand in between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, and the thumb on the right nostril.
Step 5: Use the ring finger and little finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril.
Step 6: Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril.
Step 7: Now breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger.
Step 8: Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right.
Step 9: Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left.
Step 10: Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.
Complete 7 such rounds by alternately breathing through both the nostrils.
Remember that after every exhalation, you must breathe in from the same nostril from which you exhaled. Also keep your eyes closed throughout. Continue taking long, deep, smooth breaths. Do not force or effort.
The Benefits of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama
- Calm the mind.
- One forgets about bad things in the past and focuses only on the present. The pranayama helps one bring the mind back to the present moment.
- Works therapeutically for most of the problems related to circulatory and respiratory systems.
- Releases accumulated stress in the mind.
- Relaxes body and mind.
- Creates balance between left and right hemispheres of the brain, that represents logical and emotional sides of one’s personality.
- Purifies and balances the nadis (energy channels) and ensures smooth flow of prana (life force) through the body.
- Maintains healthy body temperature.