Preparatory Practices for Nadishodhana Kriya
Observing Pattern of Breathing
Many people believe that we always breath equally by both the nostrils
together. However, this is not entirely correct. We predominantly breath only
via one of the nostrils at a time. The predominance of the nostrils change after
every one and half hours (the exact duration may slightly vary in individuals).
Ancient Yogis developed a science around this pattern of breathing known as
"Shiva Swaradoya". It would be interesting to find out your own pattern of
breathing. Whenever you get a time record this pattern for a span of 24 hrs.
Keep record in your notepad after every hour. Note down which nostril is more
active than the other. A simple technique to find this out is as follows:
- Sit in a calm and isolated place free from any disturbances
- Dip one of your finger in water
- Hold the wet finger in front of one of the nostrils such that air
expelled during exhalation strikes directly against the finger
- Feel the intensity of the air
- Now repeat the same procedure for the other nostril and feel the
intensity of the air
- The nostril that expels the air more intensely is active at that point
Also note down your mental state at that point of time. An advanced Yogi can
change the predominance of nostrils by mere mental instructions.
Nadishodhana Kriya calls for inhalation and exhalation in a specific ratio.
Many students complain that they can control the inhalation for specific
duration but exhalation occurs too quickly. It is important that your do not
exhale quickly to avoid pranic loss. In this preliminary practice you will learn
to adjust the ratio of inhalation and exhalation.
- Sit in any comfortable meditative posture
- Place your hands in your lap and be relaxed
- Slowly inhale up to your normal capacity
- As you inhale count the inhalation time in terms of numbers (e.g.
- Now hold the breath for a second and start exhaling slowly
- As you exhale pay attention not to exhale quickly
- Time for inhalation and exhalation should be the same (e.g. if
inhalation took 4 counts then exhalation should also take 4 counts)
- Keep repeating such cycles for 5-10 minutes
After practicing the above technique for few days extend the exhalation time
such that it becomes double than inhalation time (e.g. if inhalation took 4
counts then exhalation should take 8 counts). Note that in the above practice we
are not performing alternate nostril breathing as in the actual Nadishodhana