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nadi shodhana

April 23, 2021


Nadi Shodhana

Nadi Shodhana, or more commonly known as alternate nostril breathing, is a type of pranayama. But not just any kind… it’s a really, really powerful one that everyone can benefit from utilizing! In today’s blog post, we are going to talk about the science behind Nadi Shodhana, why you need to incorporate it into your routine ASAP, and of course, how to do it! 

Before we get there, though, let’s talk about just why it is so powerful! Nadi Shodhana directly translates to mean “channel purification.” Which is EXACTLY what it does. This pranayama practice purifies and cleanses our energy channels, directly impacting our mind, body, and nervous system. 

The Science Behind Nadi Shodhana

Nadi Shodhana again is breathing through one nostril at a time. It may feel funny at first, but again, there is science behind this! In summary, inhaling through the left nostril triggers your parasympathetic nervous system (rest/relaxation response). Whereas inhaling through the right stimulates your sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight response). So Nadi Shodhana works to balance both. 

This is powerful because it actively allows us to tap into these systems safely and intentionally, to manage stress. And science has proven that managing your stress is the number one factor in your health and wellbeing.

Nadi Shodhana’s direct benefits are:

  1. Improving cardiovascular function
  2. Improving respiratory and lung endurance
  3. Improving mental health

Again, all these work together to set the foundation for health. Without any one of these core aspects, our biological systems begin to break down. We can’t have that, though, because we are here to live whole, aligned, and beautiful lives. Nadi Shodhana helps us maintain the foundation for that. 

Why You Need Nadi Shodhana

Stress, anxiety, burnout, overwhelm, lack of focus, no attention span — the list goes on and on as to WHY in today’s world you NEED Nadi Shodhana. Again, as we talked about above, it has so many juicy scientific benefits. 

But beyond that, you need Nadi Shodhana because you need a tool to heal. A real tangible and actionable one (which it is) to turn to at any second at any day to take a deep and cleansing breath. To let all the yuck out. 

We keep so much pent up and held in day-in and day-out. Frustration, anger, pain — and it’s no wonder we experience things like anxiety, burnout, and chronic stress. You have the power to start to use this tool to change that, though. And Nadi Shodhana is that tool for you to use any time, any day, to release all the yuck and reset your nervous system to heal. 

nadi shodhana pranayama

How To Practice Nadi Shodhana

I have broken the practice down for you, step by step, so you can take in this life-changing cleansing breath sequence yourself. 

  • Find a safe space where you feel relaxed
  • Sit comfortably. 
  • Bring your hand up to your nose
    • Thumb to the right nostril
    • Ring and pinky fingers to the left
    • Index and middle finger folded and resting at the base of the thumb
  • Exhale completely 
  • Block the right nostril and inhale through the left nostril
  • Release right nostril and exhale
  • Block left nostril and inhale right
  • Release left nostril and exhale
  • This completes 1 entire cycle
  • Repeat 10-12 cycles

When I say Nadi Shodhana will change your life — I mean it! This pranayama is a powerful one to cleanse all the stuckness out of us. To clear your mind, and improve your heart, lung, and respiratory health and create the foundation for you to live your best life. 

Copy the little breakdown I made for you above, save it in your notes on your phone, or write it down in your favorite safe-care journal and USE IT. Nadi Shodhana is your new springtime tool to cleanse, aka change, your life!

PS: If you’re vibing with this post then you’re going to LOVE my 12 week yoga inspired self-discovery program The Yoga Inspired Life! In TYIL we cover a range of yogic rituals and tools to help you discover your purpose, build your bliss, and create a life you love living. Cycles of TYIL Program are held 3-4 times per year so be sure to join the waitlist here or send me an email for more info on how to join the next cycle!

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About The Blogger

Hey! I'm Shayla

I’m a yoga and fitness loving, green juice drinking, wanderlust-ing, wellness obsessed gal living in Los Angeles, CA with my sweet rescue dogs Penny Lane and Bali.

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