Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhanam)
While not at all strenuous, nadi shodhanam does require focused concentration which will calm and quieten the mind and the body.
Sit with your head, neck, and spine tall; body spacious and alert, breath smooth and flowing. Gently close your eyes.
Breathe naturally; there is no hurry as you breathe. Let each exhalation and inhalation be the same length—smooth, slow, and relaxed. Do not force the breath or allow it to be jerky. Let each breath flow without pause.
Use a special hand position, or mudra, to gently close off each nostril. Bring the right hand up to the nose and lightly press index and middle finger into the space between your eyebrows. This leaves your thumb free to close the right nostril, and the ring finger to close the left nostril. Be sure that you are not bending over to bring the head down to your hand. And remember, be gentle. Simply rest the thumb or finger against the side of the nostril; this does not require more than a light touch.
As the breath moves out and in through each nostril, it provides a quieting focus. Your nervous system will become deeply calmed, and your mind will turn inward and become steadied for concentration.
Begin your practice by inhaling through both nostrils, then close one nostril and exhale and inhale smoothly and completely through the other. Make the exhalation and the inhalation of equal length and avoid any sense of forcing the breath. Now change sides, completing one full breath with the opposite nostril.
Continue alternating between the nostrils until you have completed a full round—three breaths on each side, for a total of six breaths. Then lower your hand and breathe gently and smoothly three times through both nostrils. For a deeper practice, complete two more rounds.
Notice how you are feeling afterwards and commend yourself!
“I feel calm, focused and ready for my day. Well done me for taking that short time out for myself. I am winning in life!!”