A long time ago yogis discovered, understood and implemented in practice the knowledge of the existence of the two kinds of energies in the human being, the vital and the mental energy. Together they govern the whole of our being and, when in balance, they provide for smooth functioning of our body, all its systems and of our mind as well. When in harmony, they ensure the state in which a natural and balanced evolution becomes possible.
— Dr Swami Mudraroopa Saraswati
Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar in seated meditation, sacred geometry of chakra energy system.

Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar in seated meditation, sacred geometry of chakra energy system.

Nadi Shodhana

This technique is also known as alternate nostril breathing technique is a simple and powerful breathing technique that will help balance your energy and deeply relax your mind and body.

When practiced regularly, research has demonstrated that this technique helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality. This breathing technique can be used in combination with medical therapy to improve symptoms of hypertension and COPD.

Benefits of Nadi Shodhana

  • Helps calm and center the mind.
  • Eases anxious feelings
  • Works therapeutically for most circulatory and respiratory problems.
  • Releases accumulated stress in the mind and body and helps induce relaxation
  • Helps purify and balance the subtle body energy channels, allowing smoother flow of life force (prana)
  • Maintains body temperature.

Step-by-Step

There are several different styles of Nadi Shodhana, but they all serve the purpose of regulating the flow of air through your nasal passages. Here is a practice you can add to your daily morning or evening ritual:

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  1. Sit comfortably with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed. Keep your face soft and relaxed. Place your left hand resting on your thigh with your palm facing upward.
  2. Place the tip of the right index finger and right middle finger between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, and the thumb on the right nostril.
    • We will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril.
  3. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril.
  4. At the peak of your inhalation, press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right.
  5. Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round of Nadi Shodhan pranayama. Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.
    • After every exhalation, remember to breathe in from the same nostril from which you exhaled.
  6. Continue performing Nadi Shodhana for the next 9 breaths, following the same pattern. Your breathing should be effortless, with your mind gently observing the inflow and outflow of breath.
  7. Sit for 5-10 minutes for the simple meditation (seated, observing breath)

Read More

http://www.yogamag.net/archives/2011/haug11/swara.shtml

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