Alternate nostril breathing, also known as nadi shodhan (purifying the channel) or anulom vilom, balances the physical and mental energies.
Right nostril or 'Pingal nadi' signifies the sun principle or body while the left nostril, 'Ida nadi,' signifies the moon principle or mind.
Doing alternate nostril breathing purifies the Pingal and Ida nadis, thus bringing the body and mind into balance.
This technique also facilitates the practice of primordial sound meditation.
How to do nadi shodhan or anulom vilom
Notice how it feels at the tip of your nose, in the area between your upper lip and nose, inside your nose.
If any thoughts arise, ignore them and let them pass. Continue to focus on your breathing and sit for as long as you wish.
After some practice you can try to stagger your breathing in the ratio of 1:2:2. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 8 seconds, then exhale for 8 seconds.
If you feel uncomfortable doing this, go back to breathing in one continuous rhythm.
How it helps
The increased amounts of oxygen in the bloodstream due to rhythmic deep breathing clear the energy channels in our subtle or astral body.
This is of vital significance, as the condition of our subtle body directly impacts the condition of our physical body. Impurities in the subtle plane manifest outwardly as disease or imbalance in the physical plane.
These impurities not only affect us physically, but also cloud our consciousness and hamper our mental faculties.
Regular practice of alternate nostril breathing purifies the body and calms the mind. It is highly recommended for stress-relief and quick relaxation.
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