Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – नाड़ी शोधन प्राणायाम

Yoga Day 2019

21st June is celebrated as International Yoga Day. Our first article covered Dhyana, or Meditation. Here is more yoga for you…

Nadi and Chakras
An image showing Nadis and chakras in the human energy body, or Prana-maya-kosha.

Nadi is a subtle energy channel in the human body – there are 72,000 Nadis in all.

Shodhana means cleaning or purification, and Pranayama is a breathing technique.

Nadis are subtle energy channels in the human body that can get blocked due to various reasons. The Nadi Shodhana pranayama is a breathing technique that helps clear these blocked energy channels, thus calming the mind.

This technique is also known as Anulom Vilom pranayama.

Cause of Obstruction in the Nadis

  • Nadis can get blocked on account of stress
  • Toxicity in the physical body also leads to blockage of nadis
  • Nadis can get blocked due to physical and mental trauma
  • Unhealthy lifestyle

What Happens When these Nadis are Blocked?

Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are three of the most important nadis in the human body.

When the Ida nadi is not functioning smoothly or is blocked, one experiences cold, depression, low mental energy and sluggish digestion, blocked left nostril. Whereas when the Pingala nadi is not smoothly functioning or is blocked, one will experience heat, quick temper and irritation, itching body, dry skin and throat, excessive appetite, excessive physical or sexual energy, and blocked right nostril.

Some tips while practicing Nadi Shodhana Pranayama 

  • Do not force the breathing, and keep the flow gentle and natural. Do not breathe from the mouth or make any sound while breathing.
  • Place the fingers very lightly on the forehead and nose. There is no need to apply any pressure.
  • In case you feel dull and are yawning after practicing Nadi Shodhana pranayama, check the time you take to inhale and exhale. Your exhalation should be longer than inhalation.

Benefits of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama 

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 Shodhana pranayama helps bring the mind back to the present.

Works therapeutically for most circulatory and respiratory problems.

Releases accumulated stress in the mind and body effectively and helps to relax.

Helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlates to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.

Helps purify and balance the nadis – the subtle energy channels, thereby ensuring a smooth flow of prana (life force) through the body.

Maintains body temperature.