A Cleansing Breath

Wouldn’t it be great if you could detox simply with your breath? Well you can! One of the eight limbs of Yoga is to practice pranayama, which translates as “breath control”. There are lots of different pranayama, but today we’re going to focus on Nadi Shodhana, which is also known as “alternate nostril breathing”.  The Sanskrit word Nadi translates as “channel” and the word Shodhana translates as “purifying” and this pranayama is all about detoxing the energy channels of the body.  It is said to not only purify the energy channels, so that our prana or life-force flows more easily, but also balance the two hemispheres of the brain, and decrease anxiety and stress.  So, how does this work?

  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Bring your right hand into Mrigi Mudra (see picture below).  Let your left hand rest softly on your knee or thigh.

pranayama_fingers01

  • Gently close your right nostril with the thumb of your right hand and exhale through your left nostril.
  •  Slowly inhale through your left nostril, then close it with your ring and little fingers.  Hold your inhale for two counts.
  • Remove your thumb from your right nostril and slowly exhale (keeping your left nostril closed).  Hold your exhale for two counts.
  • Keep the right nostril open and inhale, then close it with your thumb and hold your inhale for two counts.
  • Remove your ring and little fingers from your left nostril and slowly exhale (keeping your right nostril closed).  Hold your exhale for two counts.
  • This is one cycle of alternate nostril breathing.
  • Try to repeat at least 5 times.

Release your right hand from Mrigi mudra, close your eyes (if they aren’t already), return to your normal breath and tune-in to the flow of energy through your body.

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