Many of us may not be aware of the fact that we breathe mostly through only one nostril at a time and even the force of breathing is also not equal for both the nostrils.this change in the dominance Of one nostril to another ,occurring after every one hour.It is also true that certain physical activities and psychological conditions were observed to be associated with the predominant flow of breath through particular nostril.for example-the right nostril dominance is associated with the digestion of food, outward directedness nature and more alertness for external happenings, whereas the left nostril dominance is related to more passive psychological state, more quite and receptive mood which helps one in getting easily directed towards the inner environment.
Anulom-vilom/Nadi shodhan Purpose -
The main characteristic of this pranayama is the alternate breathing through the left and right nostril without holding the breath.
Required purpose - mat
Sit confortably in padmasana or in any suitablemeditative asana (vajrasana, padmasana, ardhpadmasana ), with straight back
Make special mudra(position) of right palm by folding and supporting the index and middle finger together at the bottom of the thumb, the ring finger and small finger are used for closing the left nostril. the right nostril is closed with the help of the thumb.this mudra is known as the pranav mudra.
Close the right nostril by thumb,Inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril. The force and the flow of breath is maintained uniform till the inhalation (expanded abdominal) is completed. This is puraka(inhale) phase. At the end of the puraka, the left nostril is immediately closed with the help of ring finger and little finger. Since the right nostril was already closed before puraka, now both the nostrils are closed.
Then Jalandhara bandha(bend head forward and press the chin against the upper chest) is applied and breath is retained according to one's capacity. This is kumbhaka(retained breathing) phase. The right nostril just by removing the thumb from it and starts exhaling slowly and smoothly through the right nostril for proportionate duration. This is rechaka(exhale) phase.
Now, close the left nostril by ring finger and small finger, the next puraka (inhale) is done through the right nostril . After doing kumbhaka(retained breath) as before, the rechaka(exhale) is performed through the left nostril. This is considered as one round of nadishuddhi pranayarna. Such 3,7,10 or even more rounds are gone through at a stretch.
Puraka(inhale) phase is deeper and slow (deergha and manda while rechaka phase is still more prolonged and slower (pradeergha and manda Jif-) in nature. This helps to maintain a ratio of 1:2:2 or 1:4:2 for puraka, kumbhaka and rechaka. Breathing is however very smooth and without any frictional sound.
It ensures extra supply of oxygen.
It enhances mood, by lowering the stress level.
It balances both nadis, ida and pingala nadi.
When there is moderately strong desire to release the breath, one opens At the slightest sign of discomfort, reduce the duration of inhalation.
Breaths should not be foreceful.
While closing the nostril either during puraka or rechaka one should remember not to press the nostril so hard as to distort the rip of the nose, only soft part of nostril is to be pressed against the middle partition.
Only thumb is used to close the right nostril and other (ring and little) finger to left nostril.
Wait atleast three-four after meal before starting pranayama,because food in stomach places pressure on diaphragm and lungs.