* Alternate Nostril Breathing: Nadi Suddhi *

Please begin by sitting in a comfortable meditative pose. Your back should be straight. You may sit in a chair or cross legged on the floor. Calm the mind by watching your breath for a minute or so with full concentration. Take nice deep, slow, breaths in and out through your nose.

Take your right hand and bend the first and second finger in toward the base of the thumb. Leave your thumb and last two fingers (ring and pinky) extended.

--> Close the right nostril with the thumb and breath out through the left nostril. Exhale slowly through the left nostril, as much air as possible, with no strain. It is important to be very gentle in this process and not to force anything.

Slowly breathe in through the left nostril. Let the breath be as smooth and quiet as possible. Expand the stomach and abdominal muscles as well as the chest. Take as deep a breath as you comfortably can.

Close off the left nostril with the ring finger and pinky and open up the right nostril by taking your thumb off of it. Breathe out through the right nostril. Empty the lungs as much as possible. Slightly contract your abdomen to release as much air as possible.

When the exhalation through the right nostril is complete, Slowly and gently begin to inhale through the same (right) nostril. Let the air flow in slowly and smoothly. Be very gentle!
Now alternate nostrils again. Close off the right with the thumb and breathe out through the left, just as you did in the beginning. Continue to breathe in and out through alternate nostrils. Repeating between the arrows above. Practice in this way daily, for several weeks. Start with one or two rounds and increase very gradually.

As you continue your practice of alternate nostril breathing you may start to make the exhalation twice as long as the inhalation. This is easily done by counting as you breathe. If you breathe in for two counts, breathe out for four. If you breathe in three, breathe out six and so forth. At all times be very gentle with yourself. You should not strain. You should feel that you could continue like this, alternating nostrils, comfortably for a long time.

When you finish practicing alternate nostril breathing, take a few deep slow breaths through both nostrils and let the breath return back to normal. Rest for a few minutes in peace and silence. Then gently and slowly go about the rest of your day.

Alternate nostril breathing may be practiced with benefit twice a day morning and evening. This practice is very helpful for purification, relieving stress, centering and calming the mind, and for relieving insomnia. Many people find it also lowers high blood pressure. For the best effect, follow the practice of alternate nostril breathing with a period of Meditation. (see our OM's HOME: Yoga and Meditation website for Universal Meditation Instructions. http://www.bestweb.net/~om/kmi

Keep a count of how many rounds you complete. Each time you return to the point at which you started is one round. Gradually and slowly increase the number of rounds you are doing over a period of weeks or even months. When you find it easy and effortless to do twenty rounds breathing in for a count of 10 and out for a count of 20 then please contact me for further instructions:-)) OM@bestweb.net

© 1999 Beverly B. Ferguson, Ananda Kutir