Updated: Dec 17, 2020
Nadi Shodhanam is one of the balancing techniques of pranayama.
The Sanskrit word Nadi means "psychic passage", "specific pathways" , "Energy pathways" or "subtle energy channels" through which prana flows/travels throughout the body.
Shodhanam means "purification".
Thus this is a practice by which pranic pathways are purified & decongested.
Nadi Shodhanam is a very simple pranayama technique that purify the Nadies of the body. As Gheranda Samhita tells that we have 72 thousands Nadies and Hatha Yoga Pradipika tells us 3,50 thousands nadies, this technique help to purify all these subtle nadies, balances the flow of energy in all of them & the flow of the breath in the nostrils.
It has been scientifically accepted if one of your nostril remains continually blocked, you will frequently experience pain, headache, emotional imbalances...etc.
The right nostril is known as the Surya (Solar, male, positive energy) nostril and is associated with heat/temperature of the body.
The left nostril is known as Chandra (Lunar, moon, passive energy) nostril, associated with the coldness/calmness/peace/satisfaction of the body/mind.
It is not healthy to have a single nostril dominance most of the time or, without the natural alteration in every 60 to 90 minutes.
Excessive right nostril dominance is associated with anger, aggression, hyperactivity, high blood pressure.
Excessive left nostril dominance is associated with sleepiness, lethargic, depression, poor digestion & fatigue, fear, low confidence, lack of enthusiasm....etc.
One can restore the natural rhythm of the alteration of breath in the right & left nostrils by practicing a simple yogic technique called Nadi Shodhanam
So... practitioners are requested/suggested to practice at least one pranayama technique that is Nadi shodhanam after the asanas. Meditators can practice 02 or 03 times a day...
Sit in Padmasana or in any meditative asana.
Relax yourself with 5 to 7 belly breathing.
Adopt the Gyan mudra or Vayu mudra by the left hand, Vishnu/Nasagra mudra by the right hand.
Exhale completely. Close the right nostril by the right thumb. Inhale by the left nostril.
Close the left nostril by the ring finger, open the right nostril and exhale to the right nostril.
Inhale to the right, exhale to the left.
This is a complete round of nadi shodhanam. Repeat it 10 to 12 breaths.
Breathing should be in the rhythm. The rhythm should not be forceful.
If possible, maintain the ratio 1:2 between inhalation and exhalation.
Beginners can practice 3 to 5 rounds.
Intermediates can practice with kumbhaka.
Advance ones can practice with kumbhaka and bandhas.
For the practices with kumbhaka and bandhas, practice with the guidance of your teacher.