Nadi Shodhana, or “alternate nostril breathing,” is a simple but powerful technique that deeply relaxes the mind and body. You can use it to quiet your mind before beginning a meditation session, and it is also a soothing practice for calming racing thoughts and anxiety if you are having trouble falling asleep. There are several different styles of Nadi Shodhana, but they all serve the purpose of regulating the flow of air through your nasal passages. In fact, the term Nadi Shodhana means “clearing the channels of circulation.”
Here is a practice you can try right now:
- Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril.
- At the peak of your inhalation, close off your left nostril with your third and fourth fingers, then exhale smoothly through your right nostril.
- After a full exhalation, inhale through the right nostril, closing it off with your right thumb at the peak of your inhalation.
- Continue performing Nadi Shodhana for the next few breaths, following the same pattern. Your breathing should be effortless, with your mind gently observing the inflow and outflow of breath.
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