How to do Nadi Shodhana Pranayama And What Are Its Benefits

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

Through this article, we will learn about Nadi Shodhana Pranayama and also we will know how to do Nadi Shodhan Pranayama and how beneficial it is for us. The term Nadi Shodhana Pranayama also called as Alternate Nostril Breathing,

If you want to balance your actions, emotions and the consequences in life, then it is very important to balance your thoughts. The Nadi Suddhi or Nadi Shodhan or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama plays an important role in bringing this very essential balance.

What is Nadi Shodhana Means?

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama literally means cleaning of nerves. “Nadi” means “Nerves” and “Shodhana” means “Cleaning” or “Purification”. When we say Nadi, we are not talking about 72000 Nadi’s (Nerves). All these 72000 nerves are the branches of Ida and Pingala Nadis.  36,000 Nadis emerge out from Ida and 36000 from Pingala.

The Ida Nadi is associated with the right brain and the left side of the body and the Pingala Nadi is associated with the left brain and the right side of the body. We can balance our whole body by balancing the Ida and Pingala Nadi.

How to do Nadi Shodhana Pranayama And What Are Its Benefits

In Nadi Shodhan Pranayama, basically, the purification of Ida and Pingala is done so that the energy system is balanced. There is a relationship between a human’s breath and mental structure. The Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is somewhat similar to Anulom Vilom Pranayam however there is little difference between these two pranayamas.

How To Do Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Step By Step Guide

It is such pranayama that any person of any age even a beginner also can practice it comfortably. There are 2 ways to do Nadi Shodhan Pranayam, we have discussed both of them below –

How to do Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing) and what are its benefits

  • Find a clean and calm place and sit on a mat. Sit in that posture in which, you can sit comfortably for hours.
  • Keep your spinal cord straight and sit comfortably on the ground, close your eyes and relax your body.
  • Use only your right hand in Nadi Sodhana Kriya. Only use thumb, index and middle finger of right hand. The last two fingers will remain straight and will be connected with each other.
  • Place your index finger and middle finger on your Agya Chakra (between the eyebrows).
  • Now put your thumb upon your right nostril and inhale from the left nostril. After breathing completely in now exhale the from the same nostril.
  • Similarly, using the last two fingers, close the left nostril and take a deep breath from the right nostril, and then release it from the right nostril.
  • While doing this Kriya, focus on your breathing.
  • During the practice, you have to keep in mind that after leaving the breath out, you have to change the nostrils for inhalation.
  • After 4-5 minutes you can breathe out from the left nostrils and finish the exercise.

Another Way To Practice Nadi Shodhan Pranayama

  • Sit on a mat
  • Keep your back straight and sit comfortably on the ground, close your eyes and loosen your body.
  • Take a deep breath from the left nostril.
  • After inhaling, hold your breath inside.
  • After holding the breath according to your stamina release the breath through the right nostril.
  • Initially, you have to get the help of hand in taking in and leaving out the breath. But after practicing daily you can fill the breath inside and leave it out only through determination, without using hands.

Nadi Shodhana Practice In Scriptures

According to Hatha yoga Pradipika, humans should always inhale and exhale from both nostrils one by one. When the breathing is complete, close the right nostril with the thumb and left nostril with the ring finger and small finger. Now hold the breath in according to your stamina and then breathe out.

According to “Shiv Samhita”,  Nadi Shodhana is practiced as-  close the  Pingala (right nostril) with right thumb and breathe with Ida (left nostril) and then hold the breath in as long as possible. Now slowly release the breath from the right nostril. Then, breath in with the right nostrils, then hold it in and then gradually leave the air out from the left nostril.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Duration

In the beginning, do this pranayama for 2-3 minutes only. Keep inhalation and exhalation duration longer. As mentioned above, in the second practice of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, you can hold your breathing from 10 seconds to 1 minute according to your strength.  A healthy person can practice Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama for 10-15 min and any normal and weak person can practice this Pranayama for 3-5 minutes and gradually increase the duration day by day. The ideal duration for Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama is 5-10 minute.

Breathing Ratio For Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

On the first day of practice, practice Nadi Shodhana according to your level of comfort. 5: 5 ratio is best for an initial one, i.e. take 5 seconds to inhale and 5 seconds to exhale. Try to control your breath on the first day so that your breathing ratio remains the same.

After practicing it daily, you can now take the ratio of your breathing to the next level. Now you can practice at a ratio of 2:2 i.e. take 10 seconds to inhale and 10 seconds to exhale. After becoming a master in this ratio, you can now practice Nadi Shodhana pranayama with Kumbhaka (holding the breath in or out).

How to Do Nadi Shodhan Pranayama With Kumbhaka

  • Sit down comfortably.
  • Place your right thumb on your right nostril and breathe with the left nostril.
  • Take 5 seconds to breathe. Now hold the breath in (Kumbhaka) for 5 seconds and then remove the right thumb from the right nostril and place the middle and ring finger on the left nostril and then release the breath from the right nostril.
  • Then hold the breath out for 5 seconds and remove the middle and ring finger from the left nostril and keep the thumb of your right hand on the right nostril and then leave the breath out from the left nostril.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Benefits

Let you be known that Nadi Shodhan Pranayama is a type of Breathing exercise, which has many health as well as physical and spiritual benefits. This pranayama helps in keeping the mind calm while removing the impurities of the body. Let’s know what are the benefits of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama.

Benefits of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

  • Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is beneficial for brain diseases, Automen Disease, and Neuro Problems.
  • It purifies our nerves.
  • Nadi Shodhan Pranayam is also helpful in 7 chakra activation.
  • By doing Nadi Shodhana Pranayam, the negative energy present inside the body escapes.
  • By this breathing exercise, the flow of oxygen on both sides of the brain is increased. By which our concentration increases and the brain acts sharper.
  • Nadi Shodhana breathing exercise increases the amount of oxygen in the body.
  • It provides benefits to the person suffering from stress, depression, and other mental disorders.
  • The brain becomes agile, functional and sensitive.
  • Nadi Suddhi Pranayama gives benefits in S.L.E – M.S.
  • It increases the level of Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.
  • The mind becomes calm and happy.
  • Nadi Suddhi Pranayama is also beneficial for heart patients.
  • It balances the Vata, Pitta, and Cough inside our body.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Precautions/Things to keep in mind

  • Keep your left hand relaxed between your laps (As shown in the above picture).
  • Keep your head straight, by doing this, your system will soon be balanced.
  • When closing the nose, do not put too much pressure on it.
  • If you have trouble sitting down then you can also use the chair.
  • Practice Nadi Sodhana Pranayama as slow as possible and the breath should be inhaled completely and should be exhaled completely.
  • Do not make any sound while inhaling and exhaling (soundless breathing).

FAQs On Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

Here are some frequently asked question and their answers on Nadi Shodhana Pranayama.

Questions: Can we do Nadi Shodhan Pranayama during periods?

Answer: Women’s body requires high hemoglobin during the mensuration. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama increases the hemoglobin level of your body and also improve the oxygen supply for your body which is beneficial during periods.

Question: Does Nadi Sudha Pranayam open all the energy obstructions in our body, and restore our body to perfect health?

Answer: You will get the best answer when you practice it. When you practice it, it creates a sense of peace in your mind throughout the day i.e it reduces your stress level.

Question: Can I do Nadi Shodhana pranayama more than once in a single sitting?

Answer: You can practice pulse puri pranayama for a long session, but for this, it is important to keep in mind that you keep the proportion of breath equal. Also, sit for a longer period of time when you become a master in it. If you start practicing for a long time from the second or the third day, you may have to face problems like restlessness, dizziness, and breathlessness.

Question: What is the best time to do Nadi Shodhana Pranayama?

Answer: Like all other Yoga activities and pranayama, the best time to practice Nadi Shodhan pranayama is morning time. In the morning, air and surroundings are fresh and calm. You can practice this pranayama even in the evening and at night before sleeping. The practice of any respiratory process should be done only after two to three hours of the meal.

2 thoughts on “How to do Nadi Shodhana Pranayama And What Are Its Benefits”

  1. Kannan

    I have undergone angioplasty a year ago. Can I practice naadi shuddi pranayama? Will it help me as I have severe side effects from the medications.

    1. YogaChapter

      Yes, you can definitely practice Nadi Shuddhi and other breathing exercises like Anulom Vilom, Bhastrika, and Bhramari pranayama. You only need to keep in mind that do not practice any pranayama forcefully. Also, do not quit your medication, practice these pranayamas every day and then consult your doctor. He will let you know that you have to continue the medication or not.
      Read this: Yoga for Heart Patient

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