Giving Your Health a New Lift
Hand Position: Nasagra mudra (Nosetip Position)
- Hold the fingers of the right hand in front of the face.
- Rest the index and middle fingers gently on the eyebrow center.
- Both fingers should be relaxed.
- The thumb is above the right nostil and the ring finger above the left.
- These two digits control the flow of breath in the nostrils by alternately pressing on one nostril, blocking the flow of breath, and then the other.
- The little finger is comfortably folded. When practising for long periods, the elbow may be supported by the left hand although care is needed to prevent chest restiction.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Phychic network purification)
Technique 1: Preparatory practice
- Sit in any comfortable meditation posture, preferably siddha/siddha yoni asana or padmasana.
- Keep the head and spine upright.
- Relax the whole body and close the eyes.
- Practise yogic breathing for some time.
- Adopt nasagra mudra with the right hand and place the left hand on the knee in chin or jnana mudra.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb.
- Inhale and exhale through the left nostril 5 times.
- The rate of inhalation/exhalation should be normal.
- Be aware of each breath.
- After 5 breath release the pressure of the thumb on the right nostril and press the left nostril with the ring finger, blocking the flow of air.
- Inhale and exhale through the right nostril 5 times , keeping the respiration rate normal.
- Lower the hand and breath 5 times through both nostrils together.
- This is one round.
- Practise 5 rounds or for 3-5 minutes, making sure that there is no sound as the air passes through the nostrils.
- After practising for 15 days go on to technique 2.
Technique 2: Alternate nostril breathing
- In this technique the duration of inhalation/exhalation is controlled.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb and breathe in through the left nostril.
- At the same time count mentally, “1,OM;2,OM;3,OM; until the inhalation ends comfortably. This is the basic count.
- Breath deeply with yogic breathing. Do not strain.
- Close the left nostril with the ring finger, release the pressure of the thumb on the right nostril and while breathing out through the right nostril, simultaneously count “1,OM;2,OM;3,OM. the time for inhalation and exhalation should be equal.
- Next, inhale through the right nostril, keeping the same count in the same manner.
- At the end of inhalation close the right nostril, open the left nostril and exhale through the left nostril, Counting as before.
- This is aone round.
- Practise 10 rounds.
Technique 3: With Antar Kumbhaka (Inner retention)
- In this technique antar kumnhaka or internal breath retention is introduced.
- Close the right nostril and breath in slowly through the left nostril for a count of 5.
- At the end of inhalation, close both nostrils and retain the air in the lungs for a count of 5.
- The glottis may be slightly contracted to hold the air within the lungs.
- Open the right nostril, breathe in slightly through the right nostril and then slowly breath out through the same nostril for a count of 5.
- This slight inhalation at the end of inner retention helps to bring the respiratory muscles back into action again and relieves the locked condition of the glottis.
- The exhalation should smooth and controlled and of the same length as the inhalation.
- At the end of exhalation, immediately inhale through the right nostril for a count of 5, keeping the left nostril closed.
- Again, retain the breath for a count of 5 with both nostrils closed.
- Open the left nostril, breathe in slightly through the left nostril and then breathe out through the same nostril for a count of 5.
- This is one round.
- Maintain constant awareness of the count and the breath practise 10 rounds.
Technique 4: With Antar and Bahir Kumbhaka
(Internal and external retention)
- In this technique bahir kumbhaka or outer breath rtention is introduced.
- Do not try to hold the breath outside for too long at first, even though it may seem easy.
- Inhale through the left nostril.
- Retain the breath inside in antar kumbhaka as described in technique 3.
- Exhale through the right nostril.
- After exhalation, when the lungs are deflated as much as possible, close both nostrils and hold the breath out for the chosen count.
- The glottis may be slightly contracted to hold the air out of the lungs.
- Exhale slightly through the right nostril immediately before inhaling.
- This will release the lock on the lungs and the glottis and bring the respiratory system smoothly back into operation.
- Inhale slowly through the right nostril.
- Retain the breath inside in antar kumbhaka.
- Exhale through the left nostril.
- Again, hold the breath out in bahir kumbhaka to the count with both nostrils closed.
- This is one round.
- Remember to exhale slightly through the right nostril before breathing in at at the start of the next round.
- Practice 5 rounds.
- Breathing should be silent in all techniques of nadi shodhan, ensuring that it is not forced or restricted in any way.
- As the ratio and duration increases the breath becomes very light and subtle. Increased ratio and breath duration should not be attained at the expense of relaxation, rhythm and awareness.
- Mental- It is easy for the mind to wander during nadi shodhan. Simply be aware of this wandering tendency of the mind, continue the practice and the ount. This will automatically encourage the awareness to return to the practice.
- Spiritual- On ajna chakra.
5 To 10 rounds or 10 To 15 minutes daily.
Nadi shodhana ensures that the whole body is nourished by an extra supply of oxygen. Carbon dioxide is efficiently expelled and the blood is purified to toxins.