Mindful Breathing–Nadi Sodhana

Nadi Sodhana Pranayama, or Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a mindful breathing technique aimed at promoting overall well-being. Nadi means “flow” and sodhana means “purification” in Sanskrit, and together means, “subtle energy clearing breathing technique.” Some research has shown benefits of stress reduction and cardiovascular improvement. There is speculation that it can help lung function, as well. Those practicing in real time noticed a reduction in muscle tension halfway through the three minutes of practice.

Though I did not direct you to do so in the video, please take time to switch to the other side of the body half of the time you are practicing this mindful breathing technique on your own. Place your left thumb on your left nostril and breath in through your right nostril. Then release your thumb and use your ring and pinky fingers to close your right nostril while breathing out of your left nostril.

What’s great about this mindful breathing technique, and what it shares with sama vritti, is that focusing on the steps to use this technique makes it easier to practice redirecting distracting thoughts. As you develop your practice the steps become more routine and easier to move through effortlessly. In the beginning, however, take your time adjusting to synchronizing your hand movements and breath. Notice how your body sensations differ using this breath as opposed to other breathing techniques…what thoughts, challenges, benefits, and outcomes are different or the same.


Questions to consider during or after your mindful breathing practice:

  • Are you inclined to sit differently?
  • Do you imagine your breath in different ways with different imagery and different colors?
  • Are there different patterns of images that you see with your eyes closed or focused across the room?
  • What sensations are where in your body?


Other resources:

Joyous Mind: the Practice of Nadi Shodhanam

What to Know About Alternate Nostril Breathing

Yogapedia–Nadi Shodhana


For more information about the practice check out upcoming programs and classes, podcasts and events, and/or schedule your free 15 minute consultation.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for mental health or medical treatment. It is important for those with clinical and medical diagnoses to receive the appropriate treatment from trusted and trained practitioners.