What is Nadi Shodhan Pranayama? Benefits | Steps | Contraindications

What is Nadi Shodhan Pranayama?

Here Nadi-Shodhan means purification of the nerves. Any kind of blockage in the nervous system of the body causes various types of physical disturbances.

Pranayama for purification of nadis has been described in many of our scriptures related to yoga, such as Shiva Samhita, Hathayoga-Pradipika, Gherand Samhita etc.

Although the credit for the success of the entire process of Pranayama goes to your concentration and alertness, but if special care is taken of Nadi-Shodhana Pranayama, then maximum benefit can be derived from the other Pranayams. Even though we start getting the benefits of Pranayama right from the beginning, it still requires strong determination.

Its energies have to flow with extreme sensitivity, concentration and subtlety to provide stability or discipline the breathing. So that breath, life and brain can be made spiritual. This is a small but important process of purification of the soul.

Among all the pranayams, Nadi-Shodhana Pranayama is the most sensitive, complex and subtle. When the nadi is touched at the subtlest level, it leads to self-realization.

For Nadi-Shodhan Pranayama, first increase the efficiency of your fingers and secondly develop sensitivity in the nasal membranes, only then it will be meaningful to do this Pranayama. Nadi purification removes blockages in the nerves and due to smooth blood flow, proper amount of blood reaches the brain, which relieves mental stress.

Regarding Pranayama, first of all it should be understood that the practice of Pranayama is the process of moving the Prana within our body, it is the process of awakening the Prana, but the awakening of the Prana and the free flow of the Prana is possible only when all the nerves within us are free from obstruction. Become this and for this the practice of Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama is explained.

There are many stages of Nadi Shodhan. First of all, we have to take care of where we breathe. This is the first stage. Because normally our breathing remains uncontrolled and unbalanced. The correct method of breathing is to use the full capacity of the lungs, thereby increasing the capacity of the internal organs of the body and the hidden within them. Experience expansion and growth in life force.

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama Steps

♦ Sit comfortably with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.

♦ Close your eyes. Make Pranayama posture with straight hands.

♦ For Pranayama Mudra, place the index and middle fingers on the forehead and close the right nostril with the thumb.

♦ Now slowly exhale completely through the left nostril, then slowly inhale as much as possible through the left nostril and hold the breath as much as possible using all the three Bandhas.

♦ Then to exhale, close the left nostril and exhale slowly through the right nostril.

♦ Now inhale slowly through the right nostril, hold the breath as much as possible through the Bandhas and exhale through the left nostril.

♦ This one chakra is called Nadishodhan Pranayama. In this way, practice it for at least 11 cycles or as much as you can.

♦ Finally, exhale through the left nostril and bring your hands down and remain sitting calmly.

♦ Keep your eyes completely closed and continue taking long, deep, natural breaths without any force or effort.

Is Nadi Shodhan and Anulom Vilom Same?

No, Nadi Shodhan and Anulom Vilom are different pranayama techniques, although both involve alternate nostril breathing. Nadi Shodhan focuses on balancing energy channels, while Anulom Vilom emphasizes rhythmic inhalation and exhalation.

What are the Spritual benefits of Nadi Shodhan?

Nadi Shodhan is believed to promote spiritual benefits such as increased mental clarity, balance of energy channels, enhanced focus, and a sense of inner peace.

Regular practice of Nadi Shodhan is often considered a part of a holistic spiritual practice, helping individuals progress on their spiritual journey by cultivating self-awareness, mindfulness, and inner stillness.

Is Nadi Shodhan for pitta?

Yes, Nadi Shodhana is considered to help balance Pitta dosha in Ayurveda. Nadi shodhana pranayama is often recommended in Ayurveda to balance pitta dosha, as it is believed to have a cooling and calming effect on the body and mind.

This technique involves alternate nostril breathing, which is believed to balance the flow of energy (prana) through the body’s energy channels (nadis).

In Ayurveda, Pitta dosha has been linked to fire and heat. The calming nature of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is believed to help reduce excess heat and stress associated with Pitta imbalance. However, individual reactions may vary. It is important to consult a qualified physician for individual advice.

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama Benefits

Practices of Nadi-Shodhan are the base of other pranayams, hence, the better the practitioner does Nadi-Shodhan, the more benefits he will get from other Pranayams also.

♦ Makes the brain active, active and sensitive.

♦ Physical and mental balance is established, due to which physical and mental diseases do not occur. The level of perception, meditation, and samadhi increases.

♦ By purifying the stool in all the nerves, present and future results are good.

♦ The mind remains calm and happy.

♦ It is very beneficial in controlling asthma, tonsil, cough related diseases, bone, skin and blood pressure. It is especially beneficial in migraine and sinus.

♦ Nadi Shodhan is known for its calming effect on the nervous system, which helps reduce stress and anxiety.

♦ It increases respiratory capacity, encouraging deeper and more controlled breathing.

♦ Regular exercise may contribute to improving sleep quality by calming the mind and promoting relaxation.

♦ Nadi shodhana is associated with emotional stability, helping individuals manage their emotions more effectively.

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama Contraindications

1.) Try it for a minute or two in the beginning. The first time you try it, it may feel a little strange.

2.) Do this only as long as you are comfortable. Don’t force yourself to go out of your comfort zone.

3.) It is important to feel in control and relaxed. Increase your time at your own pace.

4.) Those who are practicing Nadi Shodhan for the first time, their inhaling and exhaling time should be normal and they should try to spend twice as much time in exhaling as they do in inhaling.

5.) Breathing should be slow, steady and continuous. Also keep in mind that practice it in a pure environment only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do Nadi Shodhan at night?

Yes, you can practice Nadi Shodhana (alternate nose breathing) at night. It is a calming and centering practice that helps promote relaxation and prepare the mind for sleep.

Who should not practice Nadi Shodhan?

People with certain medical conditions like respiratory issues, cold, fever, or those with heart problems should consult a healthcare professional before practicing Nadi Shodhan.

How many times should I do Nadi Shodhan?

Practicing of Nadi Shodhan (alternate nostril breathing) for 5-10 minutes daily is recommended for effects. However, the duration can vary based on personal preference and comfort.

Can we do Nadi Shodhan in Periods?

Yes, Pranayama like Nadi shuddhi and Anulom Vilom can be done even when you are on your period.

Can I do Nadi Shodhan after eating?

It's generally recommended to practice Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) on an empty stomach for better results. It's better to practice Nadi Shodhana before eating for optimal results.

Is Nadi Shodhan good for anxiety?

Alternate nostril breathing may enhance overall health and well-being. It has also been shown to have a positive effect on mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.

What is the ratio of Nadi Shodhan pranayama?

In Nadi Shodhan pranayama, the basic ratio is often 1:2:2 for inhalation, retention, and exhalation. For example, you might inhale for a count of 4, hold for 8, and exhale for 8. Adjust the counts based on your comfort and capacity.

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