Alternate Nostril Breathing: (Nadi Shodhana or Anuloma Viloma )

Alternate Nostril Breathing: (Nadi Shodhana or Anuloma Viloma )

Without know it, our natural breathing alternates from one nostril to the next.  We breathe through one nostril for about 2 hours, then we breath through the other nostril for around 2 hours and we continue on in this way.

The Right Nostril is considered Masculine; it controls energy, heat, force and competition

The Left Nostril is Feminine; it controls nurturing, calming and coolness.

Alternate Nostril Breathing is a technique in which you inhale through one nostril, and exhale through the opposite nostril.

This technique helps direct Prana (energy).  Alternating your breathing nostrils helps to bring balance to your life.  By soothing the nervous system, you become more relaxed and sleeping improves.  Practicing Nadi Shodhana is a great way to prepare for meditation.

How to Practice Nadi Shodhana

Come to a comfortable seated position

Begin to notice your breath

Begin with a few rounds of Dirga Pranayama (Three Part Breath)

When you are ready to begin, choose your hand position*.

Close your eyes.

Close your Left Nostril and Inhale through your Right Nostril

Switch Nostrils and Exhale through your Left Nostril (Right nostril is now closed)

Inhale through your Left Nostril (Switch fingers closing your left nostril and opening your right)

Exhale through your Right Nostril

This equals one round.  Try to repeat 6 more times for a total of 7 rounds.



After all seven rounds are complete, return to normal breathing.

*Mudras for Alternate Nostril Breathing

Vishnu Mudra:  use your right hand.  Right thumb holds right nostril closed, curled index and middle finger controls the left nostril.

I prefer to use a third eye mudra.  With your right hand, place your index and middle finger together on your third eye (Ajna chakra, the place between and slightly above your eyebrows).  Right thumb controls the right nostril, and the bent ring and pinky fingers control the Left nostril.
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One Response to “Alternate Nostril Breathing: (Nadi Shodhana or Anuloma Viloma )”

  1. September 22, 2010 is the Autumnal Equinox « 2nd Star To The Right Yoga Blog Says:

    […] 2nd Star To The Right Yoga Blog Just another weblog « Alternate Nostril Breathing: (Nadi Shodhana or Anuloma Viloma ) […]

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