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Alternate Nostril Breathing

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Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alana Kessler

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Definition:

The breathing technique is named Nadi Shodhan, as it helps clear out blocked energy channels in the body, which in turn calms the mind. It is also known as Anulom Vilom pranayama. (nadi = subtle energy channel; shodhan = cleaning, purification; pranayama = breathing technique)

Benefits:

Excellent breathing technique to calm and center the mind. Our mind has a tendency to keep regretting or glorifying the past and getting anxious about the future. Nadi Shodhan pranayama helps to bring the mind back to the present moment. Works therapeutically for most circulatory and respiratory problems. Releases accumulated stress in the mind and body effectively and helps relax. Helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality. Helps purify and balance the nadis, the subtle energy channels, thereby ensuring smooth flow of prana (life force) through the body. Maintains body temperature.

Method:

Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. At the peak of your inhalation, close off your left nostril with your fourth finger, lift your right thumb, and then exhale smoothly through your right nostril. After a full exhalation, inhale through the right nostril, closing it off with your right thumb at the peak of your inhalation, lift your fourth finger and exhale smoothly through your left nostril. Continue with this practice for 3 to 5 minutes, alternating your breathing through each nostril. Your breathing should be effortless, with your mind gently observing the inflow and outflow of breath.