Oct 18, 2011

Yoga Pranayama : Nadi Shodhana

I was at yoga last week and we did this pranayama,  (i.e. breathing practice), Nadi Shodhana (or alternate nostril breathing) as part of our practice. Apparently the name nadi shodhana refers to the cleansing of vital channels of energy, in this case the nasal passages, hence "purification of nasal channels." (source) and has always been one of my favourites.

The image above shows the basic concept:

1) with your right hand, place your thumb loosely near your right nostril, and your ring finger loosely near your left nostril. 

2) Breathe in through both nostrils.

3) Place your thumb on your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril, and then inhale through your left nostril 

4) Release your thumb from your right nostril and place your ring finger on your left nostril. Exhale and then inhale through your left nostril. 

5) Repeat this sequence of holding the right nostril and exhaling/inhaling through the left nostril and holding the left nostril and exhaling/inhaling through the right nostril about 5-12 times 

(see my sources here and here for more clarification) 

Just a note that you shouldn't try to do this is your nose is stuffed up--the nostrils should be clear (though you may need to attack a box of Kleenex a bit after--my old yoga teacher used to run around while we were nostril breathing distributing us all kleenexes, which was sort of funny.)

What struck me as neat about this pranayama is that our teacher Jacqueline's mention that this pranayama could really be done anyplace, and was good for the following:

1) when you're feeling really high energy
2) when you're feeling really low energy
3) when you're feeling anxietal and scattered

Let's face it, outside of yoga, this are my three most common states of mind, so I think taking a few moments to do this when I'm feeling low energy might make all the difference!

♥ Craftzilla


  1. **prepares to stick fingers up nose accidentally** :) Seriously, this will be handy for me when I need to calm the hell down at work.

  2. @Angela HAHA totally, I know it does look like that a bit:)

    It is really good for that though, a little breathing/meditation goes a long way!

  3. Thanks for sharing this!

    I've not taken yoga, but I might try & do it at home some. But this is something I could do in the office, when the zombies are out of control & make me want to scream.

  4. @apockylypse You're welcome! It would be great for that for sure!

  5. I think this will be handy for me when I need to calm the hell down at work. :)

  6. @Aaron Gray Oh good, glad you think it will be helpful:) Calming down is always good!


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