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Everything You Need To Know About Nadi Shodhana

Everything You Need To Know About Nadi Shodhana

Nadi Shodhana, also known as alternative nasal breathing, is a powerful breathing method with a wide range of benefits for body and mind.

Nadi means “waterway” or “river” in Sanskrit, and Shodhana means “purification”. Therefore, Nadi Shodhana primarily aims to clear and purify the subtle channels of the organisms of the mind and body while balancing the male and female aspects.

This exercise has a calming effect on all three doshas and is a good method for almost everyone to attain harmony in life.

What are the benefits of Nadi Shodhana?

benefits of Nadi Shodhana
  • Alternate breathing supplies and restores oxygen levels in the human body. Also, it releases and clears toxins from the system to reduce anxiety and stress.
  • It rejuvenates and calms the nervous system. At the same time, this yoga practice also helps to stabilize your hormones. Moreover, it strengthens and clears respiratory channels. 
  • It contributes to better respiratory health, helping to relieve allergic reactions that might cause symptoms like hay fever, wheezing, or sneezing.
  • The practice also balances lunar and solar energy channels to regulate feminine and masculine energies within the body.
  • It fosters intellectual awareness, alerts your mind and enhances the ability to concentrate. Practicing it on a consistent basis brings balance and stability in your life. 

Recommended Story – Bhramari Pranayama – Yoga for Mental Detox

Step-by-Step Guide for Nadi Shodhana:

Step-by-Step Guide for Nadi Shodhana

Nadi Shodhana is usually practiced on an empty stomach. Early morning is considered an ideal time to perform this exercise.

Step – 1:

Start with choosing a comfortable seated position. Cross your legs on the floor or sit in a chair with your legs flat on the floor.

Stretch your spine so that your back, neck, and head stand upright while exercising. Gently close your eyes.

Step – 2:

Take a deep breath and exhale slowly and gently. Practice full yoga breathing multiple times in this way to awaken the Prana Maya Kosha (energetic body).

Step – 3:

Now, try to fold the tips of the middle and index fingers inward until they touch the palm that happens to be at the base of the right thumb (just like Vishnu mudra).

For fingers, you can alternatively use the right thumb to close the right nostril. While the right ring and the little, small pinky fingers (together) will close the left nostril.

Step – 4:

It’s time to exhale fully through the left nostril. Remember to be gentle at the same time.

Moving to the next step, keep your right nostril closed and inhale through the left one. Feel the air going deep down into the belly. 

Step – 5:

As you inhale, allow the breath to travel straight up to the left side of your body. Now, pause for a while and focus on the centre of your brain. 

Step – 6:

Next, use the pinky fingers and the ring finger of the right hand to close the left nostril. Be gentle and at the same time release the right nostril.

Now, exhale through the right side of the nostril allowing the air to pass down the right side of the body. Pause for a while.

Step – 7:

With the left nostril closed, inhale again through the right nostril and breathe into the right side of your body. Then use your right thumb again to close the right nostril while opening the left nostril.

Exhale through the left nostril and through the left side of the body. Gently hold at the end of exhalation.

Finally, one round of Nadi Shodhana is completed with this step.

The same pattern follows for each additional round. Repeat this alternating pattern for a few more rounds to pay attention to the pattern of breathing.

Now, return to the other side of the body (from the crown), with one side of the body up. 

Tips and Tricks

Tips for Nadi Shodhana

While exercising, stay relaxed and keep breathing slowly, gently, and fluidly. Nadi Shodhana can be extremely rewarding with 5 minutes of regular practice, but with 10 to 15 minutes of practice every day, there are even more benefits. 

When you are ready to complete the practice, complete the final round of Nadi Shodhana exhaling from your left nostril.

Relax your right hand and place it on your lap and take a few yoga breaths.

Always pay attention to your state of mind. How you feel? How your body feels? Feel free to observe the effects of this exercise.

Now, gently open your eyes and continue to focus on your inner self and the feeling that comes along with it. 

When you’re ready, stand up slowly to kick start the day with a big smile. There are many variations of Nadi Shodhana. Some more advanced techniques include retention of breath and specific duration time notes of inhalation and exhalation.

Always remember never to force the breathing frequency while doing this yoga asana. Keep the flow natural and gentle. Try to breathe without making any kind of noise and avoid breathing from the mouth. 

Also, don’t use the Ujjayi breath. Be gentle and don’t apply any pressure. Place your fingers very gently on the nose as well as the forehead. 

This yoga practice should open your mind and help you feel better but if you feel dull and low on energy, try paying attention to your inhalation and exhalation duration.

Ideally, your exhalation time should be longer than your inhalation time. 

Final Words:

Be as calm and gentle while breathing as possible. If this is difficult, take the time to work slowly towards it to calm down breathing movements through your nose. 

Do this exercise more consistently. Imagine breathing to be a movement of light meeting you at the top of the third eye (the space between the eyebrows or just above).

You will feel the light travel along the breathing channels of your body like a stream every time you breathe in. 


If you have side effects such as body tremors or severe pain in your arms or legs, you should discontinue this method.

Try doing this yoga practice for some days and share your observations to know if it benefitted you in any way.

Also, you can drop your opinions and comments regarding this practice. 

Every Pranayama seems really helpful when you do it with all your heart. Yoga expertly cleanses your body from within.

If you’re a gym person, you can still take out 10 minutes from your schedule to practice this yoga asana.

Be patient while focusing on alternate breathing and you’ll be amazed to see the results. Start your ‘Yog Journey’ now, for a calm and healthy approach towards mind and body fitness

Also Read – Sheetkari Pranayama: The Pranayama For Calmness and Peace

Written by Mansi Yadav

"Creators always curate emotions in the form of words."
Content creator | Voice-Over Artist | Video Host |

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