Nadi Shodhana Tutorial
Nadi shodhana, also known as alternate nasal breathing, is a pranayama or breathing technique used to purify the subtle channels of the mind-body interface. It does this while also balancing the left (feminine) and right (masculine) side of the body. It is also known for cooling the body.
Left or Right Nostril:
When practicing this technique in the morning, always breathe-in on the left side first. If you practice anytime after noon, breathe-in on the right side first.
Use your right hand. Your thumb hovers over the right nostril, your index and middle finger rest on your brow (or on your palm), and your ring and pinky finger hover over the left nostril. When closing off a nostril (to restrict the flow of air) lightly press on the nostril. When push too hard, it encourage mucus production.
Start with a basic pattern of 4 – 4:
Inhale through the left nostril for 4 counts
Exhale through the right nostril for 4 counts
Inhale through the right nostril for 4 counts
Exhale through the left nostril for 4 counts
The first round is complete. Repeat for 4 more rounds. Upon completion, notice how you feel and jot down any thoughts.
When practicing this technique is in the evening, start by breathing-in through the right nostril first while closing off the left with your ring and pinky fingers.
Please note: Sometimes this breathing exercise is taught with breath retention in between inhales and exhales. We’re keeping it simple by removing the pauses.
Consider incorporating this technique into your regular yoga practice. We recommend doing 5-10 rounds before starting your physical or meditation practice. Doing so calms the mind and help focus your attention, and help you be present in your body.