Things to note before we practice:
-If you are inhaling, retaining your breath, or exhaling and feel suffocation or discomfort, stop what you are doing. Pranayama should not feel like you are drowning or slowly asphyxiating…if you are trying these accomplish these things, you’re on the wrong website.
-Do not feel 3-D’d: disturbed, distraught, or discouraged. This takes practice (like anything else in this world that is worth mastering). You may think you suck the first few times and that’s ok. There was a time in this life that humans thought the world was flat and eventually that got all sorted out and now we send robots into space! Things take time to figure out so practice and give yourself time.
Read first. There are some steps that require nano second pauses AND if you’re reading this for the first time and simultaneously performing it, you may find it more difficult and/or do it incorrectly.
Beginner- sit comfortably; keep your spine erect. You may sit against a wall or on a chair (not your Lazy Boy). Roll your shoulders up towards your ears and down your back; this helps open your chest. Next, look at your right hand and make a “y” with your fingers; thumb out; pointer, middle, and ring finger tucked in; pinky finger out. Turn the “Y” towards you, palm facing your chin and bring your “Y” close to your face without touching it. The knuckles of the bent fingers should be somewhat parallel to the tip of your nose.
Breathe normally for a few breaths and when you are ready EXHALE as much of the air out of your lungs as you can with gentle force (try to expel the air and count to four).
Pause the exhale and DO NOT INHALE for a nano-second while you
plug your LEFT nostril with your pinky by pressing down on your left nostril with your pinky. I’m making this real detailed here.
NOW INHALE through the RIGHT nostril 1, 2, 3, 4 (that’s me counting with you).
PAUSE the inhale and DO NOT exhale for a second while you
plug the right nostril with your thumb by pressing your thumb against your right nostril and lift pinky off your left nostril.
EXHALE through the left nostril 1, 2, 3, 4.
INHALE through the left nostril 1, 2, 3, 4.
PAUSE and do not inhale or exhale for a second to
plug your LEFT nostril with your pinky by pressing on your left nostril with your pinky and lift the thumb off your right nostril.
EXHALE through the right nostril 1, 2, 3, 4
INHALE through the right nostril 1, 2, 3, 4.
That is one set. Now repeat that three times (each set counts as one). On the last exhale place your hand in your lap and breathe out through both nostrils. That’s the most basic beginner round of Nadi Shodhana. You may continue to alternate if you feel comfortable. Stop when you feel complete and take time to pay attention to how you are feeling inside. If this is it, enjoy the moment. Come back and practice again tomorrow.