Honoring the inner harvest and balancing light and shadow aspects of ourselves during this Fall season, Nadi Shodhan Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing, is an excellent breathing exercise/meditation for this time of year when the weather and energies are shifting and we seek to find balance once again.
Nadi Shodhan Pranayama is also helpful with clearing out blocked energy channels in the body (nadi = subtle energy channel; shodhan = cleaning, purification; pranayama = breathing technique), which in turns de-stresses the mind releasing accumulated tension. It calms and balances our entire system.
How to do Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing):
- Sit comfortably with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.
- Place your left hand on your left knee, palm open to the sky or lightly face down.
- Place the tip of your index finger and middle finger of your right hand in between your eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on your left nostril, and the thumb on your right nostril. You will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close your left nostril and thumb for your right nostril.
- Press your thumb down on your right nostril and breathe out gently through your left nostril.
- Now breathe in from your left nostril and then press your left nostril gently with your ring finger and little finger. Removing your right thumb from your right nostril, breathe out from the right.
- Breathe in from your right nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round of Nadi Shodhan pranayama. Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.
- Begin with completing 9 rounds by alternately breathing through both your nostrils. After every exhalation, remember to breathe in from the same nostril from which you exhaled. Keeping your eyes closed throughout; continue to take long, deep, smooth breaths without any force or effort. Increase the number of rounds per sitting when you feel comfortable to do so.
Remember to not force the breath, keep the flow gentle and natural. The fingers on your forehead and nose should be applied very lightly and with no pressure.
Nadi Shodhana, one of the things we’re loving on the Be You Media Love list.