Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, Channel Cleaning Breath
Sit in Siddhasana , Vajrasana, Padmasana or Bhadrasana with a straight spine, looking to the front. Your head should be in one line with your spine. Make the Vishnu Mudra with your right hand by placing the tip of index and middle finger on the root of your thumb.
Check which of your nostrils is active. If you are breathing from the left nostril, close your right nostril with the thumb of your right hand. Inhale deeply through the left nostril. After completing the inhalation close the left nostril with the little and the ring finger and open the right nostril to exhale from the right side.
After exhalation from the right, continue with inhalation from the right nostril. Then close the right nostril with the thumb, open your left nostril again and exhale. Now you have completed one round of Nadi Shodhana. Repeat this pranayama exercise 5 to 10 times.
The name Nadi Shodhana comes from the Sanskrit words “nadi” and “shodhana”.
Nadi means energy channels while Shodhana means cleansing, purifying or purification. Nadi Shodhana thus means purifying the energy channels. This makes the Prana, the life force, flow strongly and in a healthy way.
It does not only have energetic effects though! Nadi Shodhana also cleans the body of toxins and helps you to relax. This relaxation is good for your heart, as the heart beat slows down and in general good against physical and mental stress.
People suffering from migraine have also reported that through the practice of being calm, stress-related migraines have not further appeared. Even people who have been diagnosed with bipolar syndrome got relief through the calming effect of the yoga exercise.
And last but not least it is a great exercise that you could even do at work – whether during usual working hours or in your lunch break!
In this breathing technique you should not hold your breath. Concentrate on relaxing and breathing continuously in a steady rhythm.
If you cannot sit in any of the poses listed before you can do this pose also when you are sitting on a chair or in any comfortable sitting posture.