A breathing exercise that calms and refreshes your mind, while also helping you stay focused, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is widely practiced in Ayurveda. The Sanskrit word “Nadi” means channel and “shodhana” means cleansing. In other words, Nadi shodhana pranayama aims at cleansing and purifying the various channels of the body. It can be practiced by just about anyone and is best practiced early in the morning.
- Seat yourself in a comfortable position. Straighten your spine and gently close your eyes.
- Start by taking a few deep breaths.
- Fold the tips of your index and middle fingers inward to your palm.
- Elevate your elbow so that your arm makes a right angle with your body, close your right nostril with your right thumb as you inhale through the left nostril.
- Breath deeply, bringing it down the spine and into your belly and pelvis areas.
- As you release the right nostril, gently close the left nostril with your right ring and pinky fingers.
- Now exhale through your right nostril, releasing the breath from the belly, up the spine, and through the nostril. Pause gently at the end of each exhalation.
- Once again inhale through the right nostril while keeping the left nostril closed, deeply drawing breath down your spine and into your belly and pelvis.
- Release the left nostril and block the right nostril with your right thumb. Release the breath out through the left nostril.
- Release your left nostril and block your right nostril with the right thumb. Exhale through the left nostril.
You have now completed one round of nadi shodhana, Repeat the same pattern again for an additional round. Make sure that your breathing remains slow, gentle and fluid throughout the practice.
Practicing Nadi Shodhana Pranayama at least 5-20 minutes a day helps avail the following benefits.
- Suffuses the body with Oxygen
- Eliminates toxins from bodily channels
- Relieves stress and reduces anxiety
- Calms and rejuvenates the body’s nervous system
- Maintains Hormonal balance
- Cleanses the body’s respiratory channels
- Restores balance to the left and right side of the brain
- Offers mental clarity and invigorates the senses