Nadi Sodhana Pranayama - Purification of the Energy Channels

Nadi Sodhana Pranayama, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a purifying and cleansing breathing practice. The word Nadi means channel. The body has channels for the passage and distribution of prana or energy. When these channels become blocked, we lose our energy and become susceptible to illness, lethargy and diseases. Even small obstructions in our energy channels can make us feel tired and sick. The word Sodhana means cleansing or purifying. Thus Nadi Sodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing) is a cleansing of the energy channels. To begin, sit in a cross-legged, lotus or half-lotus position. Extend the left hand out on the left knee in Jnana Mudra (palm up connecting the thumb and index finger.)

1. Bring the right hand up by the nose. With the thumb, ring finger and pinky finger extended, tuck the index and middle fingers in, close to the palm, as shown below.

Nadi Sodhana Hand Position

2. Press the ring finger and pinky of the right hand against the left nostril to block off the air and inhale deeply through the right nostril. Retain the inhalation and block and hold the breath by pinching the nostrils together with the thumb. ring and pinky fingers. Retain the breath for a few seconds.

3. Release the ring finger and pinky as you exhale completely through the left nostril. Inhale deeply through the left nostril. Block and hold the breath by pinching the nostrils together as above. Retain the breath for a few seconds. Exhale through the right nostril by releasing the thumb, keeping the pressure against the left nostril. Repeat entire process in reverse, this time starting with the inhale from the left nostril.

Complete 10 to 15 cycles. Stay relaxed and don't build tension anywhere. The blood will receive much more oxygen than usual, leaving you with an exhilarated feeling.

After Nadi Sodhana, lie down and rest in Savasana, also known as Corpse Pose.

Savasana, Corpse Pose

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