Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate Nostril Breathing or Channel Cleansing Breath ~ Nadi Shodhana

I like to do this practice at either the beginning or end of class (or both) to bring calmness to the body and mind and to balance the energy in the body.

Benefits: This breath is balancing, relaxing, and calming.

Practice: Begin in a comfortable seated position. Establish a smooth steady breath. Using your right hand, fold your index and middle fingers into your palm, leaving your thumb, ring finger, and pinky sticking up. Bring your thumb to the right side of your nose and your ring finger to the left side.

Close off your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril. Close off your left nostril with your ring finger. Open and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril. Close off your right nostril with your thumb. Open and exhale through your left nostril. Inhale through your left nostril. Take 5 to 10 rounds, alternating nostrils.

Doing 5 rounds of this practice would look like this:

Inhale left, exhale right;
Inhale right, exhale left.

Inhale left, exhale right;
Inhale right, exhale left.

Inhale left, exhale right;
Inhale right, exhale left.

Inhale left, exhale right;
Inhale right, exhale left.

Inhale left, exhale right;
Inhale right, exhale left.

Return to regular, smooth, steady breathing.

However, there are multiple styles to Nadi Shodhana. Some advocate doing 5-10 rounds on one side (inhale right, exhale right, repeat) and then switching and doing 5-10 rounds on the other side.

Doing 5 rounds of this practice would look like this:

Inhale right, exhale right;
Inhale right, exhale right;
Inhale right, exhale right;
Inhale right, exhale right;
Inhale right, exhale right.

Then switch:

Inhale left, exhale left;
Inhale left, exhale left;
Inhale left, exhale left;
Inhale left, exhale left;
Inhale left, exhale left.

Return to regular, smooth, steady breathing.

Another method is to do this practice as a circular breath: inhale right, exhale left and repeat for 5-10 rounds, then switch and inhale left, exhale right for 5-10 rounds.

Doing 5 rounds of this practice would look like this:

Inhale right, exhale left;
Inhale right, exhale left;
Inhale right, exhale left;
Inhale right, exhale left;
Inhale right, exhale left.

Then switch:

Inhale left, exhale right;
Inhale left, exhale right;
Inhale left, exhale right;
Inhale left, exhale right;
Inhale left, exhale right.

Return to regular, smooth, steady breathing.

Regardless of how you do this practice, the point is to bring balance to the body and to the subtle body or energy body. This breath can be practiced anytime throughout the day.

1 comment:

Lee Shin said...

spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i'm impressed, i must say. i'll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.

Lee Shin
www.trendone.net