What is Nadi Shodhan Pranayam
Nadi Shodana Pranayama or Alternating breathing (Sanskrit, m., नाडी शोधन प्राणायाम, nāḍī śodhana prāṇāyāma, nadi = Channel, tube; shodana = cleaning; pranayama = Breathing exercise) is a breathing technique (pranayama) in yoga.
According to the understanding of yoga philosophy, the human body is criss-crossed with a network of 72,000 so-called nadis (energy channels) (similar to the meridians in traditional Chinese medicine), in which the life energy Prana circulates. For many people (especially in western civilization), many of the nadis are no longer permeable, which, according to yoga teachings, leads to a lack of psycho-physical balance. One of the goals of yoga is to ensure the free circulation of energy on all levels. Appropriate nutrition, plenty of fresh air, a healthy, simple life as well as asanas, pranayama and meditation are supportive.
Nadi Shodhana is often called Alternating breathing because in this exercise you breathe alternately through the left and right nostrils. In yoga, the two nasal passages are assigned to different forms of energy. While the right nasal passage stands for solar energy (warmth, activity, male energy), the left nasal passage is assigned to lunar energy (coolness, passivity, calm, female energy). Nadi Shodhana is supposed to balance these two poles and free the nadis from blockages. If the focus of breathing is placed on the right or left nostril, the breathing should have a correspondingly warming and activating or cooling and calming effect. The two nasal passages are the two main energy pathways Ida and Pingala assigned, Pingala on the right and Ida on the left. They run along the spine, where they cross several times (similar to the Aesculapian staff) and lead the prana to the seven main energy centers (chakras).
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