Pranayama: Breath Control
The word Pranayama consists of: prana (the vital energy that is infinitely everywhere) and yama (to restrain or control). Our vital life force of breath is a valuable tool to eliminate waste and replenish + rejuvenate energy. Our breath practice can also serve us in means of working with symptoms of anxiety, stress, and general unease or stagnation. Explore methods and techniques of breath control and how to apply these practices both on and off the mat.
Ujjayi | Nadi Shodhana | Agni Pran | Kapalabhati | Dirga
Nadi Shodhana / Alternate Nostril Breathing
Nadi Shodhana is a technique in which we breath alternately through the nostrils and not at all through the throat. Within the body, we have three main Nadis (or channels of prana/energy): the Ida, the Pingala, and the Shushumna. By alternating sides, we can activate, balance, and cleanse the Nadis. Shodhana means "cleansing".
- Bring the right hand to Vishnu Mudra by folding the tip of the index and middle fingers in to touch the palm, the right thumb closes the right nostril and the right ring and pinky fingers close the left nostril (alternating)
- Use the right thumb to close the right nostril first. Inhale through the left nostril, pause at the top.
- Use the right pinky and ring finger to close the left nostril, releasing the right nostril. Exhale through the right nostril, pause at the bottom.
- Keep the left nostril closed, inhale again through the right nostril and pause at the top. Switch the finger placement and exhale out of ht left nostril.
- Pattern: inhale left, exhale right, inhale right, exhale left - REPEAT
- Let the breath remain slow and smooth
- Activates and balances the nadis
- Calms and soothes the body and mind
- Controls the pace and rhythm of oxygen, guiding the practitioner to be in-tune with every breath