Alternate nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhana is very beneficial.
Alternate nostril breathing or the sweet breath, is a very easy form of Pranayama that is very suitable for beginning and advanced students. Nadi means channel and refers to the pathways where prana flows. Shodhana means cleansing — so Nadi Shodhana means channel cleaning. I find right at the end of my yoga training this works well, just seems to fit nicely after I have worked on my body I finish with a little work on cleansing the breath.
- Calms the mind
- reduces anxiety and stress
- balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain
- promotes clear thinking
How to do it
- Hold your right hand up and curl your index and middle fingers toward your palm.
- Place your thumb next to your right nostril and your ring finger and pinky by your left.
- Close the right nostril by pressing gently against it with your thumb, and inhale through the left nostril. The breath should be slow, steady and full.
- Now close the left nostril by pressing gently against it with your ring finger and pinky, and open your right nostril by relaxing your thumb and exhale fully with a slow and steady breath.
- Inhale through the right nostril, close it, and then exhale through the left nostril.
So here is a short description of one complete round of Nadi Shodhana or Alternate nostril breathing —
- Inhale through the left
Exhale through the right
- Inhale through the right nostril
Exhale through the left
You should start Alternate nostril breathing with 5-10 rounds and add more when you are ready.
I would like to Thank Kru Nui for teaching me my Yoga breathing techniques so that I can share them here with you. You can see her in many of the photos on this site, mostly in the free yoga pose section in the pictures that have our logo. There will be more breathing exercises coming soon.