Nadi Shuddi pranayama (also known as Nadi Suddhi Pranayam or Nadi Shodhana), is a practice of alternate nostril breathing, in which you use your fingers to gently close your nostrils, alternating your hand position with each cycle of breath.
In this post I’ll explain what Nadi Suddhi is, why it’s important, and how you can easily add this breath exercise to your meditation practice.
Nadi Shuddhi Definition and Meaning
Nadi Shuddhi is a pranayama technique used to cleanse and replenish the vital energy in the body.
Nadi is a Sanskrit word referring to “channels” or “flow” and refers to the flow of energy that is constantly moving through you.
Shuddhi means “to purify” or “to cleanse.”
Practicing this breath is known to bring strong feelings of openness, clarity, and peace.
How To Do Nadi Suddhi
Nadi Suddhi is a form of alternate nostril breathing. The primary technique is to use your fingers to block one nostril at a time, changing the nostril through which you breathe after every complete cycle of breath.
To practice this pranayama technique, do the following:
- Sit comfortably with an erect spine.
- Place one hand to your forehead, with your index and middle fingers touching your third eye center, allowing your thumb and ring finger to rest gently alongside each nostril. (Alternatively, you can fold your index and middle fingers down).
- Gently use your finger to close your left nostril. Inhale through the right nostril.
- Pause at the top of your breath and switch your fingers, opening your left nostril and closing your right nostril.
- Exhale through the right nostril. Pause, and inhale through the right nostril.
- Continue to switch your fingers at the end of each inhalation. In this way, you will complete a full cycle of breath through each nostril before switching to breath through the alternate nostril.
- Continue this practice for several minutes. You will begin to feel a sense of lightness and clarity arise in your third eye chakra. When you are ready, release your hand and return to a normal breath.
Guided Video and Explanation of Nadi Shuddhi by Sadhguru
In this video, Sadhguru gives a great explanation on how to practice Nadi Shuddhi, and why the practice is important. He stresses the need to develop a sense of inner clarity and peace in order to be able to expand that peace throughout the rest of the world.
Health Benefits of Nadi Shuddhi Pranayam
Nadi Shuddhi has been proven to have numerous health and mental benefits, ranging from increasing your memory power to improving concentration and allowing you to gain clarity, purpose, and direction in your life.
On the physical side, it helps your body to strengthen the lungs and improve breath capacity, increase blood flow, raise your vital energy, relax the nervous system, quiet the mind, and boost the immune system.