Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana)

Time to bring some balance to those hemispheres!

1. One at a Time:

Elevate the right arm and keep the elbow up so that the upper arm is parallel to the floor. Seal the right nostril with the thumb and rest the pointer and middle fingers at the eyebrow center. Inhale through the left nostril only, attenuating the breath so that it is long and slow and smooth. When you have completed the inhalation, seal the left nostril with ring finger and exhale slowly through the right nostril only. Practice listening to the breath in the same ear as the nostril you are breathing through, i.e.: if you are breathing actively through the left nostril, hear it in the left ear. Repeat 5-10 rounds.

Switch arms and switch the breath so that you inhale only through the right nostril and exhale only through the left. Repeat 5-10 rounds.

2. Alternate Nostril: 

Begin as before. Elevate the right arm and keep the elbow up so that the upper arm is parallel to the floor. Seal the right nostril with the thumb and rest the pointer and middle fingers at the eyebrow center. Inhale through the left nostril only, attenuating the breath so that it is long, slow, and smooth. When you have completed the inhalation, seal the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale slowly through the right nostril only. Now inhale through the right nostril completely and then seal the right nostril with the thumb as you exhale through the left nostril. Continue in this manner: breathe in the through the first nostril and breathe out through the second. Now inhale through the second and exhale through the first.

As you inhale through the left nostril, cross-reference yourself and image the right kidney becoming animated. As you exhale through the right nostril, release the energy from the right kidney. As you breathe in through the right nostril, image the left kidney becoming potentiated, and then exhale through the left nostril.

3. Alternate Nostril with Retention:

Keep all of the last practice, but now add a suspension of the breath. Pause at the top of the breath, holding the inhalation in its fullness. At the end of the exhalation, pause with the breath held out, taking a moment to be with emptiness.