“The nagual is the part of us which we do not deal with at all ... At the time of birth, and for a while after, we are all nagual. We sense, then that in order to function we need a counterpart to what we have. The tonal is missing and that gives us, from the very beginning, a feeling of incompleteness. Then the tonal starts to develop and it becomes utterly important to our functioning, so important that it opaques the shine of the nagual, it overwhelms it. From the moment we become all tonal we do nothing else but to increment that old feeling of incompleteness which accompanies us from the moment of our birth and whichs tells us constantly that there is another part to give us completeness”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Nadi Sodhana

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Nadi Sodhana is a subtle breathing technique, a crown jewel amongst the  Pranayama techniques. In Nadi Sodhana breath control is achieved only through the nostrils – so there is no more switching back and forth between nostril control and throat control (ujjayi).

If you are familiar with Pratiloma Ujjayi – then in a way you’ve already been practicing Nadi Sodhana – all you have to do is take out the parts of the sequence in which Ujjayi is used. Following is the Pratiloma Ujjayi sequence with the Ujjayi parts crossed out:

  1. Inhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).
  2. Exhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  3. Inhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  4. Exhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  5. Inhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  6. Exhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  7. Inhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  8. Exhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).

What you are left with is a technique based on nostril control going from side to side:

  1. Inhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).
  2. Exhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  3. Inhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  4. Exhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).

If your practice includes holds then add them where necessary. Please remember that one round of Nadi Sodhana is made up of two breaths. When practicing, you should always do an even number of breaths – so that the practice remains symmetrical (unless you’ve been given other specific instructions by a qualified teacher).

Here is a practice to get acquainted with Nadi Sodhana. It begins and ends with regular Ujjayi breathing and in the middle the technique is changed to Nadi Sodhana. Find yourself a comfortable seated position and do the following practice sequence :

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x4 – Ujjayi)

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x8 = 4 rounds Nadi Sodhana)

1   –   0   – 1.5 –   0   (x8 = 4 rounds Nadi Sodhana)

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x4 – Ujjayi)

This entry was posted in Breath, Pranayama, Yoga. You are welcome to read 3 comments and to add yours

3 Trackbacks

  • By Pranayama with Blocked Nasal Passages | iamronen on October 23, 2009 at 10:42 am

    […] order in which they are taught and should usually be practiced . The more advanced practices like Nadi Sodhana are subtle and require preparation – it is difficult to practice effectively with blocked […]

  • By The Morning After | iamronen on November 7, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    […] only in evening practices; so was the Pranayama – I was able to practice a soft and refined Nadi Sodhana (which is usually not available to me in the morning). It led into a morning with a pleasant pace. […]

  • By Welcome to Pranayama Journal | iamronen on August 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    […] my first years of quality practice I had easy access to Nadi Sodhana. Yet after a few years my nostrils developed a regular kind of congestion which prevented me from […]

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