Nadi Sodhana

Nādī refers to a line that carries energy. Nadis are thought to carry vital energy force known as prana in the same way wires and nerves conduct electricity.

Śodhana refers to purification and cleansing.

The term NadiSodhana refers to cleansing the energy lines (Nādīs) and nerves.

To choose which finger to use close the eyes and hold the nostrils with the thumb and first finger. Apply preSure with the thumb on one nostril and with one of the fingers on the other. Exhale and restrict the air flow out of both nostrils evenly. Alternate the fingers and feel the nostrils as if they are valves. Use the finger that seems most equal to the thumbs force on the other nostril.

Any of the fingers can be used and some practitioners alternate to properly exercise the Nādīs flow though the fingers. This can make it too complex at the beginning stages as it is hard enough to find a good breathing pattern let alone control the flow of air in and out with these valves we have created.

Traditionally the ring finger was used. It is easier to lay the elbow on the side of the ribs so that it does not fatigue and cause pain in the arm and shoulder.

NādīŚodhana pranayama is performed by inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the opposite nostril. Then inhaling through the same nostril that was used in exhalation and switching nostrils after each inhalation. So the flow of air in Nadisodhana is like this, inhale through the left nostril, exhale through the right nostril, inhale through the right nostril, exhale through the left nostril.

These first 4 techniques are very important and often combined with the alternative nostril breathing. They involve restricting both nostrils on both inhalation and exhalation so that even air is present throughout a breath cycle. Master these techniques for perfect equality in airflow in and out of the body. This is the art of perfect balance.

The following stages involve alternative nostril breathing which also balances left and right energy channels. Combining the first 4 stages with the latter stages for balance when performing pranayama.

Instructions
Find a comfortable seated position. Gently exhale all of the air from the lungs.

Bend one arm and pinch the nose with the thumb and a finger of your choice. Use the more dominant arm to begin with but over the years of practice alternate so that the mind is exercises equally on both sides.

 


 

Stage 1 - NadiSodhana Pranayama
Block both nostrils partially. Allow an even intake of air through both of them.

Exhale through both nostrils blocking them so they release the same amount of air throughout the exhalation.


 

Stage 2 - NadiSodhana Pranayama
Block both nostrils partially. Allow an even intake of air through both of them.

Hold at the top of the inhalation briefly. Gradually increase the time of the retention (Antara Kunbhaka).

Exhale through both nostrils blocking them so they release the same amount of air throughout the exhalation.


 

Stage 3 - NadiSodhana Pranayama
Block both nostrils partially. Allow an even intake of air through both of them.

Exhale through both nostrils blocking them so they release the same amount of air throughout the exhalation.

Hold after exhalation briefly. Gradually increase the time of the retention (Bahya Kumbhaka).


Stage 4 - NadiSodhana Pranayama
Block both nostrils partially. Allow an even intake of air through both of them.

Hold at the top of the inhalation briefly. Gradually increase the time of the retention (Antara Kunbhaka).

Exhale through both nostrils blocking them so they release the same amount of air throughout the exhalation.

Hold after exhalation briefly. Gradually increase the time of the retention (Bahya Kumbhaka).

 


 

Stage 5 - NadiSodhana Pranayama
Breathe in through the right nostril.

Exhale through the left nostril.

Inhale through the left nostril.

Exhale through the right nostril.


 

Stage 6 - NadiSodhana Pranayama
Breathe in through the right nostril.

Hold at the top of the inhalation briefly. Gradually increase the time of the retention.

Exhale through the left nostril.

Inhale through the left nostril.

Hold at the top of the inhalation briefly.

Exhale through the right nostril.


 

Stage 7 - NadiSodhana Pranayama
Breathe in through the right nostril.

Exhale through the left nostril.

Hold after exhalation briefly. Gradually increase the time of the retention (Bahya Kumbhaka).

Inhale through the left nostril.

Exhale through the right nostril.

Hold after exhalation briefly.


 

Stage 8 - NadiSodhana Pranayama
Breathe in through the right nostril.

Hold at the top of the inhalation briefly.

Exhale through the left nostril.

Hold after exhalation.

Inhale through the left nostril.

Hold at the top of the inhalation.

Exhale through the right nostril.

Hold after exhalation.


Yoga Pranayama

Based on a book by B.K.S Iyengar
Light on Pranayama: The Yogic Art of Breathing

Every Practitioner should have a copy.
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