Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is sometimes called the cleansing breath or alternate nostril breathing and in one book I have it translates it as psychic network purification.
Whichever translation you choose, this pranayama technique has many benefits.
Amongst other things, it is said to:
- Be calming
- Improve concentration
- Relieve anxiety
- Helps to reduce stress
- Allows us to feel more settled
And in our busy lives, and the busy lives of our students, we could all benefit from a few minutes of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama.
As always, take care, when trying a pranayama technique. If you have a cold, flu or fever then do not try this now, wait until you are well. And take extra care if you have respiratory or circulatory problems and consult with your yoga teacher or GP to make sure it’s right for you.
How to do it
Sit in any meditation posture.
If you wear glasses, remove them if you feel comfortable doing so and close your eyes.
The first 2 fingers on your right hand should rest at the brow chakra (anja chakra)
The thumb of your right hand will control the right nostril and the ring & little fingers will control the left nostril.
Start by closing off the right nostril and breathing in through the left nostril for as long as is comfortable. Count with you breath as you breath in.
On completion of the in breath close off the left nostril with your ring & little finger, open the right nostril and breathe out for the same count.
Then breathe in through the right nostril for the same count, close off the right nostril and breathe out through the left nostril.
This is one round of breath. If you can try 5 completing rounds of breath, before taking a rest and starting again.
If you feel light-headed or dizzy during this practice stop immediately.
As always, do let us know how you get on, whether it’s your personal practice or teaching your students.