Have you ever experienced tiredness without any particular reason? Did you ever feel that your mind is too heavy and you just cannot think in a positive way? Then it’s time that you start on with the practice of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama.
The term ‘nadi’ is a Sanskrit word which means an energy channel and the term ‘shodhana’ means purification. Therefore, the Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is said to be a powerful breathing exercise that clears off the blocked energy channels of your body and makes you feel calm and composed.
Also known as alternate nostril breathing, it seems to be somewhat similar to anulom vilom pranayama but it is way different from it. In anulom vilom, deep breaths are simply exhaled and inhaled to heal the body but this is not the case with Nadi Shodhana Pranayama where you also need to hold your breath for sometime before exhaling it out. This pranayama is believed to take you to the path of enlightenment in the long run.
It can be said that Nadi Shodhana is an advanced level of pranayama while anulom vilom is at the basic level. Before beginning the practice of the former one must master the art of practicing the latter.
In the modern world, with the advancement of science and technology, another very important thing is increasing at a rapid speed - stress. Each and every individual is dealing with some or other kind of stress and therefore, it has become very important to deal with it at the earliest.
This stress blocks the energy channels of the body and creates toxins that hamper the smooth functioning of the body organs. Unhealthy lifestyle, traumatic situations and uncertain dilemmas are highly contributing factors that are responsible for the blockage of the nadis.
It is said that our body has three different nadis, namely, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. If your left nostril is jammed then it means that your Ida nadi is blocked which will lead to depression, cold, anxiety, etc. On the other hand, if your right nostril is blocked then it would mean that your Pingala Nadi is blocked and will lead to dry skin, quick temper, digestive problems, itching, etc.
The Sushumna nadi holds utmost importance because its blockage will lead to the obstruction of the prana energy that enters your body through the cosmos. It is the central energy channel that connects your consciousness with the divine consciousness and makes you more aware of your real self.
With the help of nadi shodhana pranayama, you can detoxify your body and cleansify your nadis for a free flow of energy throughout your body. This energy is very important as it will restore the balance between your body, mind and soul and guide you to the path of enlightenment.
How to perform Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
The most suitable time for performing Nadi Shodhana Pranayama are the early morning hours with an empty stomach. It is very important that you practice it only after completing your yoga sessions and not in between the asanas. Since it is not like any ordinary breathing practice it needs a meditative state to accomplish it fruitfully.
The following steps are to be followed for practicing Nadi Shodhana Pranayama:
Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine and close your eyes while taking deep breaths to relax your body completely.
Fold the first two fingers of your hand and touch them to your palm (Vishnu mudra). Now take your thumb out and use it to block your right nostril.
Exhale out as much air as you can and then deeply inhale from your left nostril and hold your breath for 3-5 seconds. Block your left nostril with your ring finger and small finger and release the air from your right nostril.
Repeat the procedure again by inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril.
You can practice it for as much time as you can ranging from 5 to 20 minutes depending on your experience and the time that you have for practice. You must take deep and gentle breaths that you can feel in your body to feel the full impact of this pranayama. It will make you feel relaxed and peaceful by the end of the session.
Benefits of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is a highly effective breathing technique that enables you to release the tensions that get accumulated in your mind in the form of negative thoughts and feelings. It helps you feel lighter and ensures that you feel calm and composed enough to enter a meditative state in the long run.
Some of the nadi shodhana benefits are discussed below for your reference:
It makes you feel more aware of your inner self and helps you focus on your mind and body in a better way.
Since the deep breathing brings a huge amount of oxygen in your body it strengthens the functioning of the circulatory system.
The body organs that form a part of the respiratory system such as the throat, lungs, nostrils, etc., are deeply impacted and this helps you get rid of diseases like asthma, cold, congestion, sneezing and so on.
It balances the energies of the body and rejuvenates your mind by clearing the clutter of negativity that you have collected over the years.
By regularly practicing this pranayama, you can get rid of stress, tensions and anxiety and avoid diseases like depression, nervous breakdowns,insomnia, etc.
Your mind constantly struggles between the glorious past and the unknown future. Nadi Shodhana helps you regain your composure and brings you to the present and helps you live in the moment.