What we consider meridians in Chinese Medicine are called Nadi's in Indian traditions such as Ayurveda and Yoga.
Nadi's are the finely branched energy pathways in the body that we associate with the connective tissue, the fascia. This exercise cleanses the Nadis, balances body and mind and improves overall health.
Nadi Shodhana is one of the most important Pranayama exercises. It's an exercise I always learn from people with allergies or hay fever. This is a basic exercise and belongs in your daily exercise schedule, even if you do advanced exercises such as Kapalabhati and Bastrikha. The calming effect helps you if you do this exercise prior to meditation or Yoga Nidra exercises.
Mudra van de hand: Nasagra Mudra
The position of the hand is as follows. With the right hand in front of the face, the middle finger and index finger rest at the point between the eyebrows.
With the thumb, we can close the right nostril. The ring finger closes the left nostril during exercise. The little finger remains unused.
When we close a nostril, we place it not on the nostril, but higher where the nasal pig ends. With minimal pressure, we can then close the entire nostril. If we do this with the left hand, the thumb closes the left nostril and the index finger closes the right nostril.
We'll build the exercise in three steps. This is not on the video below.
Steps one and two are done for the first seven days to get used to breathing through a nostril. After that, you can proceed to step three.
1. Breathe in and out through the right nostril
– With the right hand in the mudra above, close the left nostril with the index finger,
– Count 12 inhalations and exhalations through the right nostril.
2. Breathe in and out through the left nostril
– Daarna sluit je met de duim het rechterneusgat af, je opent het linkerneusgat door de wijsvinger op te tillen,
– Tel 12 in- en uitademingen door het linkerneusgat.
3. Breathe with varying nasal breathing, as demonstrated above in the video.
Over time, you become more comfortable breathing through a nostril, then you can move on to the next step. Then this will be your daily exercise where you use the fingers to close or open a nostril.
Make sure you don't blow yourself up like a tense balloon every time. Or that you exhale so far that it feels uncomfortable. Make sure you are relaxed and fully inhaled, that you focus on gentle full exhalations.
– Put your hand in the correct position,
– Change of nostril after each inhalation,
– Inhale on the left,
– Exhale on the right,
– Inhale on the right,
– Exhale on the left
– This is a round.
– Make a stop after each inhalation and exhalation.
Make sure you're comfortable,
This way you can continue count 12 rounds.
Gradually build up the length of the exercise. Gradually you notice that you can breathe more slowly, that the stops between inhales and exhalations become longer.
This continuous movement can be visualized as an infinite moebius bond.
Nadi Shodhana brings calmness to the mind by regulating the flow of prana in the body. It helps with digestive stagnation (constipation). It helps with stagnation in the Nadis and ensures the free flow of Prana.
The whole body is supplied with extra oxygen and CO2 is removed more effectively. It cleanses the entire blood system and invigorates the whole body. It boosts the immune system and your health. The deep slow in and out breaths cause stagnated air to flow out of the lungs.
If you do this exercise daily, you will notice that you will start to breathe slower and then that the breath stops between the inhalation or exhalation become longer and longer.
If you are more experienced, first make the exhale is twice as long as the inhale: Stage 4 Beginners Level in the schedule below:
Do's & Don'ts
STOP if you are uncomfortable, dizzy or nauseous.
DO NOT do this exercise in the water also NOT just before you go swimming.
NEVER do Pranayama exercises when you participate in traffic.