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This Breathing Technique Will Help You to Achieve Energetic Balance, Relieve Stress, Clear Emotional Blocks And Infuse Yourself With Energy


“When the breath wanders, the mind is also unsteady. But when the breath is calmed, the mind will too be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.” – Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika

According to Vedic teachings, our body’s energy system contains energetic pathways through which energy flows in, throughout the body and out. These pathways are called nadis.

There are three main nadis and they all run through the chakra system, feeding the chakras with energy.(We have created a series of articles about the chakras. )

While Sushumna is the pathway which runs from the root chakra to the crown chakra in a straight line, the Ida and Pingala are connected to the left and right nostril, the brain hemispheres and all the aspects of our being: energetic, emotional, mental and physical.


If one of the nostrils’ airflow is blocked or interrupted, the energy flow in the respectful energetic pathway is decreased as well.

The pathway which is connected to the left nostril is called Ida. Cool and nurturing by nature, it is said to control all mental processes and the more feminine aspects of our personality.

It is connected to the right brain hemisphere.Pingala, the solar nadi, is connected to the right nostril. Its warm and stimulating nature controls all vital somatic processes and oversees the masculine processes of our personality. It is connected to the left brain hemisphere.

How important is it to achieve energetic balance?

Throughout the day, one of the energetic pathways is dominant (ida or pingala), and you can easily observe which pathway is dominant in you by observing your breathing. If the left nostril is the dominant breathing pathway, then you have the Ida dominant and vice versa.

This is a normal condition for everybody, but the importance of balance between the two pathways is nevertheless a great one. If this imbalance continues for longer periods, it may result in personality, behavior and health issues.

The most powerful method of balancing the ida and pingala is the breathing technique called NadiShodhana (Sanskrit for “Nadi cleansing”), or alternate nostril breathing.

How to Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing

NadiShodhana, or alternate nostril breathing, is a very simple but powerful breathing exercise that you could do for about 3-5 minutes whenever you are feeling tense, under pressure or stressed.

This breathing technique stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which runs on the neurotransmitter adrenaline to allow us to fight or flee in stressful situations, or perceived stressful situations.

So this is how you do it:

  1. Take a deep breath and exhale.
  2. Place your thumb and middle finger on both your nostrils and close the right one.
  3. Inhale through your left nostril – close it.
  4. Open your right nostril – exhale – inhale – close it.
  5. Open your left nostril – exhale – inhale – close it.
  6. Open your right nostril – exhale – inhale – close it.
  7. Continue with your left nostril, then the right one and so on.

Keep on breathing this way for 3 to 5 minutes and in the end release your nostrils and take a final deep breath and relax. Keep the breathing at a natural rate of 1:1 (inhale:exhale) and you may deepen your breathing further in the exercise. Don’t make unnatural breaks between inhaling and exhaling, but keep it at a natural tempo.

The Effects of Alternate Nostril Breathing

The physical benefits of NadiShodhana are immediate. These include lowered resting heart rate and respiratory rates, balanced blood pressure andincreased skin conductance.

It balances the nervous system, evening out differences in sympathetic and parasympathetic tone and enhances the ability of both the left and right hemisphere.

Practicing this technique on a daily basis will help you balance your whole being and improve your mental, physical and emotional state. It is a great technique for immediate and long-term results.