- Purifies nerve channels (Ida- left nostril and Pingala- right nostril).
- Balances the 2 aspects of the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic – fight/flight/freeze response and parasympathetic – rest/relax/restore response).
- Calms the Mind and Emotions, returns us to the Present moment.
Prepare by finding a quiet place where you will be undisturbed for the duration of your practice.
First sit with your spine relaxed and upright (sit in a chair and feel your feet on floor or sit cross-legged and feel sitting bones on your block/bolster – ground yourself
- Turn your attention to your breath, and allow the breath to move deeply into the lower belly and fill your lungs. Do this in a natural unforced way. With each exhalation, notice your lungs emptying out. Breathe in calm, and breath out any tension/fear/stress from your body/mind.
- Over the next 5 breaths just take note of the length of your inhalations and of your exhalations. That will be the length of your breath when you begin your practice of nadi shodhana.
Use Vishnu mudra: Hold your right hand up and curl your index and middle fingers toward your palm. Place your thumb next to your right nostril and your ring finger and pinky by your left nostril.
Begin by breathing in through both nostrils, then close the right nostril by pressing gently against it with your thumb, and exhale through the left nostril. Then, inhale through the left nostril. The breath should be slow, steady and full.
Now close the left nostril by pressing gently against it with your ring finger and pinky, and open your right nostril by relaxing your thumb and exhale fully with a slow and steady breath.
Inhale through the right nostril, close it, and then exhale through the left nostril.
That’s one complete round of Nadi Shodhana –
Exhale through the left
Inhale through the left (to the count of 4 – 6) or your own count
Exhale through the right (count of 6-8)
Inhale through the right nostril
Exhale through the left
Do 5-10 rounds and add more as you feel ready, or if you have more time.
* Remember to keep your breath slow, easeful and use no force.
When to do it: Just about any time and any where. Make sure your stomach is empty.
Try it as a mental warm-up before meditation to help calm the mind and put you in the mood.
You can also do it as part of your centering before beginning an asana or posture routine.
Nadi Shodhana helps control stress and anxiety. If you start to feel stressed out, 10 or so rounds will help calm you down. It also helps soothe anxiety caused by flying and other fearful or stressful situations.