Nadi means ‘a tubular structure with a hollow inside in the network of the psychic channels through which prana flows’.Since this pranayama purifies the blocked nadis of the body, it is called The nadi-shodhana pranayama, shodhana meaning ‘purification’.
Reasons causing the block in Nadis
- Anxiety and stress may cause the block
- Physical body toxicity can also cause the blockage
- Any kind of trauma – either physical or mental may also cause blockage
- Unhealthy and sedentary life style can cause blockage
Effects of Blocked Nadis
Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna form the most important nadis in the human body. When the Ida nadi gets blocked, one experiences slow digestion, cold, blocked left nostril, and depression. When the Pingala nadi gets blocked, one experiences blocked right nostril, itching, heat, increased appetite, irritation, dry skin and bad temper.
Benefits of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
- It helps the mind to relax and enter into the meditative state.
- Few minutes of practice per day helps to calm the mind and be happy and peaceful.
- Helps in relieving the tiredness and tension.
- The Body gets plenty of oxygen.
- Enhances mental clarity
- Improves concentration
- Balances left and right brain.
How to practice the Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
- Sit in any one of the meditative poses (padmasana and siddhasana are the best ones). Avoid vajrasana for nadi-shodhana pranayama.
- Keep the left palm on the left knee in chin-mudra or jnana-mudra. Sit in an erect position with the torso, the neck and head on a vertical line perpendicular to the ground level. Look at the front, Close the eyes. Relax the body.
- Fold the right hand at the elbow. Place the tip of your index and middle finger (of the right hand) on the forehead between the eyebrows. The ring and little fingers on the left nostril and the thumb on the right nostril.
- Press the right nostril with the right thumb and exhale.
- Now inhale through the left nostril and then gently press the left nostril with the ring and little fingers. Remove the right thumb from the right nostril and exhale.
- Breathe in from the right nostril and breathe out from the left. This completes one round of Nadi Shodhana pranayama.
- Keeping your eyes closed, complete 9 such rounds of alternate breathing from the left and right nostrils. Keep in mind to breathe in from the same nostril from where you exhaled.
Precautions to be taken
- You should not force your breathing. Keep in mind that exhalation should always be longer than the inhalation.
- Do not breathe through your mouth or make any sound while breathing.
- Do not apply pressure on your (index and middle) fingers while placing them on your forehead.
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