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Benefits of Proper Breathing During Yoga - Nadi Shodhana Technique

May 13

Our yoga practice and the way we breathe are intertwined. If we don't learn to breathe properly, we won't fully experience the benefits of yoga. According to the teachings of yoga, with each inhalation, new prana (vital energy) enters a person while with exhalations, in the form of Apana, all physical and mental waste is expelled from the body.

Different yoga practices require different breathing styles. It is important to remember that there are many ways to breathe in yoga. 

The diaphragm is where breathing begins in yoga and everyday life. When you inhale the abdomen rises because the diaphragm is filled with air. When you exhale, the abdomen lowers as the diaphragm empties. When breathing, make sure that your stomach is moving and that you aren't restricting this movement in any way.

Long, deep breaths aim to slow down our heart rate and allow us to completely relax. When breathing, visualize how the air reaches everywhere, to the ends of the limbs.

Benefits of Proper Breathing During Yoga

Proper breathing helps those suffering from respiratory diseases such as asthma, increases lung capacity, improves detoxification through increased exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, strengthens the immune system, calms the mind, and contributes to physical/mental balance.

It also helps to overcome the fear of losing breath and reduces fears and anxiety.

Nadi Shodhana Breathing Technique

Nadi Shodhana is one of the easiest techniques you can try to get a hold of your breath.

  • Start by taking a comfortable sitting position with a straight back.

  • With the left hand make the Jnana mudra (join the thumb and index finger, while the other fingers are outstretched), and place it on the left knee.

  • Put the right hand next to your face in Vishnu mudra (bend the index and middle finger, and leave the other fingers outstretched.)

  • Then close your eyes and exhale all the air from your lungs.

  • Gently press the right nostril with your thumb and inhale through the left (inhalation lasts as long as you feel comfortable).

  • Then close your left nostril and inhale slowly through your right (both exhale and inhale needs to be equally long - counting can help).

  • Without holding your breath, inhale through your right nostril, then close your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through your left.

  • Perform five cycles of alternating breathing through both nostrils, and finish exhaling through the left nostril.

We can conclude that you can practice Nadi Shodhana every day. This breathing technique will purify the energy channels in your body and balance your breathing. You will soon learn to breathe and it will be a natural part of your yoga practice.

You will discover that breathing is a natural part of your yoga practice, and, over time, it will become a habit in your daily life.

Learn more about yoga at Pure Path Yoga: