Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

By on May 4, 2018

Nadi shodhana (The psychic-network purification)

  • Sit in any of the meditative poses such as padmasana, siddhasana, sukhasana, etc., but not vajrasana.
  • It should be a pose which can be comfortably main­tained for at least 15 minutes.
  • Place your hands on the knees, straighten the spine, hold the head upright so that it faces directly forward and relax the whole body.
  • Close the eyes and mentally prepare the mind and body for the forthcoming practice.
  • For a few minutes be aware only of the body and the breath.
    Now start the practice.



Practice- I: one nostril breathing

  • Keeping the left hand on the knee, raise the right hand.
  • The index and middle fingers should remain at the eyebrow center (bhrumadhya) throughout the whole practice.
  • The thumb should be near the right nostril so that it can control the flow of air by press­ing the side of the nostril.
  • The third finger should be placed beside the left nostril so that it can control the flow of air in the left nostril.
  • Close the right nostril with the thumb.
  • Inhale through the left nostril and then exhale through the same nostril.
  • The rate of inhalation and exhalation should be normal.
  • Breathe in and out 5 times.
  • Release the pressure of the thumb on the side of the right nostril.
  • Press the side of the left nostril with the ring finger to prevent the flow of air.
  • Inhale and exhale through the right nostril.
  • Again the rate of respiration should be normal.
  • Repeat 5 times.
  • Do not breathe heavily and there should be no sound as the air passes through the nostrils.
  • Respiration through each nostril 5 times in turn is one round. Practice 25 rounds.



AFTER 15 DAYS, LEAVE PRACTICE 1 AND START PRACTICE 2.

PRACTICE- 2 : Alternate nostril breathing

  • Close the right nostril with the thumb.
  • Inhale through the left nostril.
  • At the end of the inhalation close the left nostril with the ring finger, release the pressure of the thumb on the right nostril and breathe out through the right nostril.
  • Then inhale through the right nostril.
  • At the end of the inhalation close the right nostril, open the left nostril and exhale through the left nostril.
  • This is one round.
  • In this practice, start counting the length of each inhalation and exhalation. The counting should be done mentally by repeating 1 – Om, 2 – Om, 3 – Om, etc.
  • The time for inhalation and exhalation should be equal. For example, in 5 and out 5, or whatever number is comfortable.
  • Do not strain under any circumstances.
  • After a few days try to increase the period of inhalation and exhalation
  • maintaining the same 1 to 1 ratio. In other words, try to increase the time of inhalation to 6 counts and the time of exhalation to 6. When this is easily achieved try to obtain a count of 7 for inhalation and 7 for exhalation.
  • Do not force the breath in any way.
  • Be careful not to speedup the counting during exhalation to compensate for shortage of breath.
  • At the slightest sign of discomfort reduce the time of each inhalation and exhalation or discontinue the practice for a day.



AFTER 15 DAYS OR MORE GO ON TO PRACTICE- 3.

PRACTICE- 3 : Antaranga kumbhaka (Inner retention)

  • Close the right nostril.
  • Inhale through the left nostril.
  • At the end of the inhalation, close both nostrils.
    Retain the breath for a count of 5.
  • Exhale through the right nostril.
  • Then inhale through the right nostril, the left nostril remaining closed.
  • Again retain the breath for a count of 5, closing both nostrils.
  • Exhale through the left nostril by opening the left nostril and keeping the right nostril closed.
  • This is one round. Practise 21rounds.
  • After some days of practice, alter the ratio of inhalation, retention, exhalation to 1:2:2. For example, if you breathe in for a count of 5, try to hold the breath inside for a count of 10 and breathe out for a count of 10.
  • After a few days add, 1 unit to the inhalation (i.e., from 5 to 6), add 2 units to the retention and 2 units to the exhalation (to make them 12).
  • When this long inhalation, retention and exhalation has been perfected so that there is not the slightest discomfort, again increase the length of each round.
  • Keep the ratio the same.
  • After some weeks or months of practice, the ratio should be changed to 1:4:2.
  • When this has been mastered change the ratio to 1:6:4.
  • When this is mastered change the ratio to 1:8:6.



WHEN THE FINAL RATIO (1:8:6) CAN BE MAINTAINED FOR 25 ROUNDS WITH COMPLETE RELAXATION AND WITHOUT HAVING TO HALT FOR A REST, PROCEED TO STAGE 4.

PRACTICE- 4 : Antaranga and Bahiranga kumbhaka (Internal and external retention)

  • Inhale through the left nostril.
  • Retain the breath inside.
  • Exhale through the right nostril.
  • Retain the breath outside.
  • Breathe in through the right nostril.
  • Retain the breath inside.
  • Exhale through the left nostril.
  • Retain the breath outside.
  • This is one round. Repeat 15 rounds.
  • The ratio should start off as 1:4:2:2 for inhalation, internal retention, exhalation, external retention.
  • Slowly increase the duration for inhalation from 5 to 6 counts and then from 6 to 7 and so on. Increase the duration of the exhalation and retention accordingly.
  • Advanced practitioners can perform jalandhara or moola bandha during the retentions of stage 4.



Sequence-Practice this after asanas and before meditation.

Precautions-

  • Do not retain the breath for longer than is comfortable.
  • Proceed to the next practice level only when perfection is achieved in the preceding stage.

Limitations-Learn carefully and cautiously, if possible, under expert guidance.

Benefits-

  • Nadi shodhana is an indispensable prelude to the advanced meditative practices.
  • It induces calmness and tranquility.
  • All the pranic passages are cleared of blockages.
  • The flow of prana in the ida and pingala nadis is equalized.
  • The blood system is purified of toxins.
  • The whole body is nourished by the extra supply of oxygen, and carbon dioxide is efficiently expelled. The overall result is a vast improvement in health.
  • By purifying the brain cells, the brain centers are encouraged to work nearer to their optimum capacity.
  • All stale air is removed from the lungs.



SURYA BHEDA PRANAYAMA
Surya Bheda Pranayama (The vitality stimulating technique)

  • Assume a comfortable meditative asana.
  • Keep the spine and head erect and place the hands on the knees.
    Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
  • Raise your right hand, placing the middle and index fingers on the forehead and the thumb and ring finger gently on each side of the nose.
  • Close the left nostril with the ring finger.
  • Inhale deeply through the right nostril.
  • Close both nostrils,
  • Retain the breath and perform jalandhara and moola bandha.
  • Maintain for as long as is comfortably possible.
  • Release moola bandha then jalandhara bandha.
  • Exhale through the right nostril by keeping the left nostril closed with the ring finger.
  • This is one round. Repeat the same process.

Duration-

  • Perform up to 10 rounds.
  • Try to slowly increase the length of retention over a few weeks.

Precautions-

  • Do not practice before or immediately after meals, because the body needs the energy for digestion.
  • Should be learned carefully and cautiously under expert guidance.



Benefits-

  • This pranayama activates pingala nadi and therefore gives the
  • practitioner dynamism to perform physical activities more efficiently.

 

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Pranayama Benefits

About Sharat S.

To keep my friends and readers Healthy, I love to write and share articles on Fruits, Vegetables, Yoga Exercise and more. Importantly, I always promote natural remedies to keep your body healthy.

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