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Nadi Shodhan or Anuloma Viloma (Alternate Nostril Breathing)


Right nostril is Pingala Nadi(Sun principle or body), left nostril represents Ida nadi (moon principle or mind). In alternate nostril breathing, one inhales through right and exhales through left then inhales through left and exhales through right nostrl. This purifies the Ida and Pingala nadis. This purification brings balance to body and mind. The metabolic processes are balanced.


The purpose of the Alternate Nostril Breathing is to balance the physical energy and mental energy. It is recommended for all types of problems. As Hatha Yoga principle says that the health conditions are due to imbalance between this Ida and Pingala. Alternate nostril breathing balances this two forces.


Following are the benefits of Alternate Nostril Breathing

  • Proper supply of oxygen is ensured and carbon dioxide is effectively removed.
  • More oxygen is made available per breath, making the breathing most efficient.
  • Blood is purified of toxins.
  • Very effective for stress management.
  • Helps reducing the anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. Also it reduces hyperactive disorders related to mind.
  • Balancing Ida and Pingala removes all the blockages in the pranic energy channels, which may lead to spiritual awakenings.
  • It gives all the benefits of Deep breathing as well.

Practice - Note (Practice of Anuloma - Viloma or Nadi Shodhan should be done with a Yoga Expert Only)

  • Begineers can start with deep breathing practice in sitting position (Padmasana - Lotus, Swastikasana- Auspicious, Vajrasana - Thunderbolt, Any Cross legged position in which the body can be relaxed and spine is erect.)
  • Pranav Mudra of right hand, will help close the right nostril while inhaling through left nostril and ring finger can close the left nostril while inhaling through right.
  • Initially 4 seconds inhale through left and exhale for 6 seconds through right nostril, then inhale through right for 4 seconds and exhale through left for 6 seconds can be practiced for about 5 minutes.
  • With practice one can increase the counts to 4:8, or 5:10 or 6:12 seconds

Precautions -

  • If you feel little bit of discomfort then you can reduce the ratio of breathing.
  • Under No circumstances the proportion of the breathing should be forced.
  • People who have undergone abdominal surgeries, heart surgeries, brain surgeries should consult the medical expert or consultant.
  • Please do not rush to increase the proportions, as it will not help, but trying to practice easy ratio (4:6 seconds) for little more time may help.
  • Initially one should start slowly by inhalation in 3 sec and exhalation in 3 sec. Slowly you an increase it to 4 : 4 sec then 3 : 6 sec and then 4 : 8 sec. The practice can be up to 5 minutes initially but slowly one can increase it to 15 minutes safely.

Mr. Gandhar Mandlik (Rishi Dharmachandra)

References -


  • Prana Pranayama Prana Vidya - Swami Niranjananda Saraswati (Bihar School of Yoga, Munger)
  • Pranayama - Yogacharya Vishwas Mandlik (Rishi Dharmajyoti), Yoga Vidya Gurukul, Nasik.
  • Pranayama - Swami Kuvalayananda (Kaivalyadham, Mumbai)