Nadi Shodhana breathing is most typically known as Alternate Nostril Breathing. It’s a very powerful breathing practice with an incredibly diverse benefits. Nadi comes from Sanskrit meaning “channel” or “flow.” Shodhana also comes from Sanskrit and means “purification.” As it sounds, Nadi Shodhana clears and purifies the subtle channels of the mind and body. In addition, since it alternates between the right and left sides of the nostrils, it balances the masculine and feminine sides of the body.
Nadi shodhana, is practiced by using the fingers to close off one nostril at a time as you alternate breathing slow, diaphragmatic breaths in and out of each nostril.
This simple practice can be done before or after the physical postures (asana) of yoga. You may also use this breathing technique as a stand-alone practice that you can do prior to any stressful situation or a stimulating environment.
Benefits of Nadi Shodhana
While there may not be any conclusive evidence that suggests exactly how alternate nostril breathing works to relax the nervous system, it does seem to have a calming effect. Here are some of the potential benefits of nadi shodhana:
In addition it helps:
Wow! That’s a ton of goodness from just one simple breathing exercise!
But there are different types (at least three that we will look at here) of doing Nadi Shodana. Each has its specific goals and benefits as well. Which are they?
This completes one round of Chandrabhedana pranayama. You can gradually do up to 20 rounds.
Chandrabhedan cools the body and cures heartburn.
Avoid this pranayama if you suffer from low blood pressure. Note: This pranayama is to be done only during summer
This completes one round of Suryabhedan pranayama. You can gradually do up to 20 rounds.
Increases body heat and energy levels
Avoid doing this pranayama if you suffer from acidity, hypertension or heart problems.
It is to be done only during winter.
This is one round of anulom-vilom pranayama.
Balancing body temperature
Cleansing the nadis in your body
Improving blood circulation
It can be done year round and by everyone.
The more advanced you become with this alternate nostril breathing practice, the longer you will be able to go. A good goal is to be able to practice this breathing style for 10 continuous minutes.
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