Nadi (=”channel”) Shodhana (= “cleaning” “purifying”) Pranayama is an alternate-nostril breathing exercise.
The right hand is placed in Mrigi Mudra (a Sanskrit word meaning “to seal, close, or lock up” or “gesture”) by pressing your hand into a fist with your index and middle fingers firmly into the base of your thumb. Stretch out the ring and pinky fingers. Keep your pinky relatively straight, but curl your ring finger slightly; the idea is to “blend” the two fingertips into one.
- Gently close your right nostril with your thumb
- Inhale through your left nostril
- Close left nostril with your ring-little fingers
- Open right nostril and exhale slowly through the right nostril.
- Inhale right nostril
- Repeat step 1. This is one cycle.
- Repeat 3 to 5 times, then release the hand mudra and go back to normal breathing.
Benefits include lowered heart rate, reduction in stress and anxiety. This breath is also said to synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain (oh so beneficial for Parkinson’s disease!) and encourage prana (life force energy) flow.
This breathing exercise is great for quieting your mind before beginning a meditation session, and it is also a soothing practice for calming racing thoughts and anxiety if you are having trouble falling asleep.
Try it to feel more balanced and calm. much love.