Finding Balance with the Breathe….Nadi Sodhana


alternate nostril breathingNadi Shodhana, or “alternate nostril breathing,” is a simple yet powerful technique that settles the mind, body, and emotions.

There are several different styles of Nadi Shodhana, but they all serve the purpose of creating balance and regulating the flow of air through your nasal passages. In fact, the term Nadi Shodhana means “clearing the channels of circulation.”

With just a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing, you can restore balance and ease in the mind and body. Sometimes when we feel frazzled or find ourselves doing too many things at once, it’s because energetically, we are out of alignment. This breath is great for restoring that necessary balance.

In addition to calming the mind and reversing stress, alternate nostril breathing also:

  • Improves our ability to focus the mind
  • Supports our lungs and respiratory functions
  • Restores balance in the left and right hemispheres of the brain, and clears the energetic channels
  • Rejuvenates the nervous system
  • Removes toxins
  • Settles stress

Before proceeding to explain the mechanics of Alternate Nostril Breathing it is important that we, from a yogic perspective understand the role that each nostril plays during the breathing process.

  • Left Nostril Breathing: Relax – Left nostril breathing activates the Ida Nerve Ending in the left nostril, which relates to calmness and relaxation. Left nostril breathing is associated with the moon energy, which is changeable, feminine, yin, giving, and cool. Breathing through the left nostril for five minutes can calm you and lower your blood pressure.
  • Right Nostril Breathing: Active – Right nostril breathing activates the Pingala Nerve Ending in the right nostril, which relates to alertness and activity. Right nostril breathing is associated with the sun energy, which is a constant, masculine, yang, and hot. Breathing through the right nostril for five minutes can energize yourself and raise your blood pressure.

Alternative Nostril Breathing: Balance – Alternative Nostril Breathing creates a relaxed, harmonious feeling, as it balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Practice before bed or when tense.

  • Sit in Easy Pose. Your left hand is in Gyan Mudra on your left knee.
  • Close your eyes and focus at your 3rd Eye. Breathe relaxed, deep, and full, as you practice the following sequence, for 3-5 minutes.
  • Inhale through the left nostril (Close your right nostril with your right thumb)
  • Exhale through your right nostril (Close your left nostril with your right index or ring finger)
  • Inhale through your right nostril (Close your left nostril with your right index or ring finger)
  • Exhale through your left nostril (Close your right nostril with your thumb)

Yogi Tip – Throughout the day, we  predominately breath through one or the other nostril. Your body regulates your energy and emotional states by switching your dominate nostril every 90 or 150 minutes. When you want to switch your energy, breath through the nostril of your choice.

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