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Nadi Shodhana

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Of the 72,000 nadis (subtle channels) that yoga describes, 3 are considered of prime importance: Sushumna, the central channel, residing within or just in front of the spine; and Ida and Pingala, the channels to the left and right of the spine respectively. These nadis control and regulate our physical and subtle nervous system. Our physical body and subtle body link up through the breath. Left nostril breathing gives access to Ida, corresponding to your parasympathetic nervous system, that part that cools, calms, and downshifts. Right nostril breathing is a way to access pingala, corresponding to your sympathetic nervous system which heats, activates, and stimulates. Take a moment now to notice which of your nostrils is more open. In a balanced body, nostril dominance would shift every few hours. If you pay attention, though, you are likely to find that one side stays dominant longer than the other. This imbalance, over time, creates bigger imbalances that manifest as body/mind symptoms such as: being too hot or too cold; excessive or deficient digestive fire;  difficulty falling or staying asleep, anxiety and depression, excess/low sex drive, excess or insufficient menses, etc. To support a harmonius cycle of alternating nostril dominance, you can practice 5 rounds of nadi shodhana once or twice a day. You can do this practice anytime, but best to wait an hour after eating food. To learn how, use this recording I made for you. A good way to bring a new practice into your life, is to tag it onto something you're already doing. For example, if you have a practice of sitting in the morning, you can do a little nadi shodana before or after you sit.

Sending love, Shannon


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