Yoga for Depression Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 9

Balance the Nadis

10 min - Practice


A simple alternate nostril breathing practice to balance the energies of the Ida and Pingala Nadis and encourage the Prana to flow evenly.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

Nov 03, 2017
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Namaste and welcome back. So today I have a quick 911 intervention for you on those days that you really just cannot get out of your own way. This intervention is a pranayam called alternate nostril breathing or nadi shodana. It may be a little bit familiar to you if you saw the talk that I gave on the subtle anatomy of yoga where we looked at the nadis, the ida, the left side of the body, and the pingala. When those are balanced, the ancients say our entire system is balanced, so let's do it.

I'm going to start off now simply finding your seat and closing your eyes or keeping them very soft gaze and simply inhale and exhale, just kind of finding the rhythm of your own breath, just releasing the breath, seeing if you can notice where the inhale comes and the exhale exits. Now with just this gentle, even breath, visualize the breath coming up the left nostril and exhale out the left nostril. Doing that a few times on your own rhythm, inhaling left and exhaling. Not forcing just to gentle all the way up and all the way out the body, lovely. And just breathing normally for a breath or two, we'll try it on the right side.

Breathing all the way up the body into the right nostril and all the way out, just doing that a few times, and last time, nice, and then just breathe normally. Now let's mix it up a little bit. We'll inhale up the left nostril and actually exhale out the right. Then inhale up the right, exhale out the left. And again, let's do this a few times to get the, just to get the swing of things.

So find your breath, easy, long, juicy breath. Exhale completely and begin up the left, out the right, up the right, and out the left. Just one full cycle, so just keep going on your own rhythm. Once you finish the last full cycle and exhaling on the left, gently open your eyes. Now let's continue with that inhalation and exhalation, but this time we'll add some imagery.

So as you inhale, think of a word that describes what it is that you need right now. What is it that you need to feel better? Could be love, could be ease, could be health, whatever your word is. Inhale that and then exhale your gift that you have for the world. So it could be inhaling ease, exhaling freedom.

Keep the same words for every inhale and for every exhale, so let's give it a shot. Again, soft gaze or close your eyes, breathe in, and exhale completely. And let's begin inhaling your word up the right, the left nostril, sorry, and exhaling your gift out the right, inhaling your need and exhaling your gift. Just do that several times on your own rhythm. And the next time that you exhale out the left, start to breathe normally and open your eyes.

So that pranayama, you could basically do anywhere and no one ever has to know. If you'd like to add hand movements, I will show you that now. And for some of us, it actually really helps to direct the attention as well as the breath. So the hand movements are simply to make a fist with your thumb sticking out and then lift up the awkward fingers, the ring finger and the baby, and you're simply going to toggle back and forth. Easy, huh?

All right, so again, we're just going to inhale and exhale completely and with soft gaze or closed eyes, close off with your thumb, the right side, inhale up the left, what you need, close off and exhale your gift. Inhale what you need, up the right, close and exhale your gift out the left. Do that several times once again on your own rhythm, gently, and easy. And the next time you exhale out the left, bring your hand down and open your eyes. And slowly open your eyes, namaste.


Michelle I
Linda Sparrowe
YAY! so glad. I do like a good soothe!
Judith G
Very nice to do the visualization. I can imagine myself doing this somewhere in public... Thank you!

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