Nadi Shodhan Pranayama: how to do and benefits

A basic breathing technique that is great for calming the body

A Sanskrit word, Nadi Shodhan Pranayama’s simple bifurcation stands as such – Nadi means energy channel or flow, Shodhan stands for purification, and Pranayama stands for a breathing technique. To put explain in simple terms, the practice of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama is about opening the energy channels in the body that get blocked. It is an ancient breathing technique that has been in play for a long time and helps calm the mind.

Also known as Anulom Vilom pranayama or alternate nostril breathing, Nadi  Shodhan’s main objective is to purify the blocked energy channels of the mind-body and soothe all the three doshas.

How to practice Nadi Shodhan Pranayama

Begin by sitting in a comfortable position, spine erect, shoulders relaxed, and eyes closed.

Now place the left hand on the left knee, palms open, or your thumb and index finger gently touching at the tips. While with the right hand, place the tip of the index and middle finger in between the eyebrows. Place the ring and little finger on the left nostril and the thumb on the right nostril.

The use of the ring and little finger is to open and close the left nostril, while the thumb is for the right nostril.

Once you are done with the placement of the fingers, gently close the nostril with your thumb and inhale through the other nostril. Once you inhale, close the nostril and exhale from the other. This is one cycle of nadi shodhan pranayama.

Repeat this three to five times, and then release the hand mudra.

The various benefits of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama

It is helpful in releasing stress and maintaining a balance between the mind and the body.

It helps lower the stress.

The topmost benefit of alternate nostril breathing is that it helps calm the mind down and lowers stress levels.

According to a study, people practising this breathing technique have shown reduced stress levels. The mind has the tendency to wander and quickly fall into the trap of anxiety and stress. And practising Nadi Shodhan pranayama will help bring the mind back to the present moment. That is why it is an excellent technique to centre the mind.

Improves the functioning quality of lungs

Since a lot of the effect of Nadi Shodhan pranayama is on the lungs, a regular practice of it helps improve respiratory endurance. Also, for people suffering from circulatory and respiratory problems like asthma, this breathing technique is useful.

Nirtika Pandita

A follower of Master Oogway, living by his words of Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, which is why it is called the ‘Present’, I am trying to master the art of now. Keeping that in the center I am combining my professional prowess as a writer and nerves of a gastronaut to conquer the Saha world.
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