Nadi Shodhana is a purifying as well as a balancing Pranayama. The Sanskrit term Nadi means ‘channel’ or ‘flow’ and Shodhana means ‘purification’. This suggests that the practice of Nadi Shodhana purifies the network of psychic energy channels in the body. The logic behind Nadi Shodhana Pranayama states that there is a constant pranic flow through the network of psychic channels present throughout the body. These networks are not physically visible and Nadi Shodhana is the process which aims to cleanse these networks.
Techniques of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
- Sit straight in a comfortable meditative posture
- Keep the spine straight but comfortable
- Gently place right middle and index fingers at the center of eyebrow
- Keep right thumb beside right nostril and ring finger beside left nostril
- Use the thumb and ring finger to alternately block and unblock the nostrils while doing Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
- Bring the breath flow to its natural pace
- Make sure that the breath is completely relaxed and natural when doing Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
- Softly press the right nostril using right thumb
- Inhale and exhale 10 times from left nostril
- Release right nostril and press left nostril with ring finger
- Inhale and exhale 10 times from right nostril
- ?In this breathing technique you should not hold your breath. Concentrate on relaxing and breathing continuously in a steady rhythm.
Contraindications when doing Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
Some of the points you need to keep in mind when doing Nadi Shodhana include:
- Do not practice forcefully
Benefits of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama improves breathing capacity
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama develops body balance and clarity of mind
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama calms down mental turbulence
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama lowers heart rate and reduces stress and anxiety
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is said to synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama purify the subtle energy channels (nadis) of the body so the Prana flows more easily during Pranayama practice
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama calms the mind, promoting peace and tranquility.
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama creates balance, harmony and rhythm in the entire system.
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama does not only have energetic effects; it also cleans the body of toxins and helps to relax. This relaxation is good for heart, as the heart beat slows down.
- People suffering from migraine have also reported that through the practice of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama they are calm and stress-related migraines have not further appeared.