Alternate nostril breathing, also known as nadi shodhana, is a powerful breath technique to focus the mind and awaken energy in the third eye center.
In this post, I’ll share a guided meditation using nadi shodhana, so listen to the recording below to get started.
This recording is an excerpt from Quiet The Mind: An Introduction Meditation.
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The core technique is simple: gently block one nostril as you breathe in. Then, switch fingers at the top of the breath to breathe out through the opposite nostril. Breathe in once again, and then switch your fingers, again at the top of the breath. In this way, you complete a full cycle of breath using one side of the nose at a time, always changing position after your inhalation.
Read this post for more information on how to do nadi shodhana.
Alternate Nostril Breath Meditation Script
Today, we will work with a technique known as nadi shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing.
To begin, sit comfortably, but straight. For this technique to be most effective, it is important that you sit upright. So, take a moment to adjust, and find a position in which you are relaxed, and still.
Now, bring your right hand to your face. Extend the index and middle fingers up to rest on your forehead. Stretch your thumb and ring finger out to either side for a moment, then slowly bring them in to center, resting your thumb gently on the outer edge of your right nostril, and resting your ring finger gently on the outer edge of your left nostril.
Do not yet press either finger in.
Take a few slow cycles of breath, breathing through both nostrils. getting used to this position. Feeling the air enter and exit through both sides of your nose.
After your next exhale, begin to press your thumb gently into your right nostril, blocking it.
Inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril. At the top of your inhalation, linger for a moment. Release your thumb, and press your ring finger to block your left nostril.
Exhale, slowly and fully.
Pause for a moment. Then, inhale through the left nostril.
Again, take a moment to linger at the top of your breath. Shift your hand. Exhale through the right nostril.
Continue this process, changing the position of your hand after each inhalation. On each exhale, breathe out through the opposite nostril. On each inhale, continue with the same nostril as the preceding exhalation.
Maintaining a calm, even breath.
You may find that this practice soothes you, enlightens you, more than your regular breath.
Use the space between each breath to feel into this presence, to embody, more completely, any sensations that come to you.
Linger for as long as it feels natural to linger. Gently widening the space between each breath. Gently moving, a little more deeply, into a state of detached, enlightened, awareness.
When you are ready, complete your current round of breath. After an exhale, release your hand and move it down to your lap, or your leg.
Come back to a normal breath.