Manage Your Emotions with Nadi Shodhana

Manage Your Emotions with Nadi Shodhana

Sponsored Content from the Art of Living Retreat Center

It’s never too late to learn techniques to control our emotions. This one yogic breathing technique can help.

Have you ever regretted reacting angrily to someone, perhaps causing harm to yourself or others? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us wish for ways to remain calm in triggering situations. Fortunately, it’s never too late to learn techniques to control our emotions.

The Connection Between Emotions and Breath

Our emotions are not entirely on autopilot; we can influence them. Through pranayama, which involves regulating our breath, we can control our minds and emotions, boost energy levels, and even address various ailments.

Understanding Nadis and Alternate Nostril Breathing

In Sanskrit, nadi means channel, and shodhana means purification. Nadis are subtle energy channels in the body, with a network of 72,000 nadis irrigating the body with prana (life energy). These channels influence every aspect of our lives, including creativity, intuition, and emotions. If our nadis are in harmony, we experience health and bliss.

Key Nadis: Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna

There are three principal nadis:

  • Ida (Chandra Nadi): Related to the left nostril and lunar energy, it cools the mind and body.

  • Pingala (Surya Nadi): Related to the right nostril and solar energy, it heats the body.

  • Sushumna: Runs from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, activated when ida and pingala are balanced.

The right nostril activates the left brain (logical thinking), while the left nostril activates the right brain (creativity and emotions). Prana circulates freely only when these energy channels are clear. Blockages can cause ailments and negative emotions, often due to an unhealthy lifestyle, stress, toxins, or trauma.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama: Alternate Nostril Breathing

Nadi shodhana pranayama, or alternate nostril breathing, clears blocked energy channels and balances the ida and pingala nadis, bringing relaxation and mental clarity. It can also regulate metabolism, aid digestion, and improve respiratory function.

How to Practice Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

  1. Find a Quiet Space: Sit comfortably, cross-legged, or in a chair with a straight back and relaxed shoulders.

  2. Left-Hand Position: Place your left hand on your left knee, with palms open or in chin mudra (thumb and index finger touching, other fingers straight).

  3. Right-Hand Placement: Bring your right palm to your face. Place the thumb on the right nostril, with the tip of your index and middle fingers gently touching your forehead between your eyebrows. Use the ring and little fingers to open and close the left nostril.

  4. Breathing Process:
    1. Close the right nostril with your thumb and exhale through the left nostril.

    2. Next, inhale slowly through the left nostril.

    3. Close the left nostril with the ring and little fingers, and exhale through the right nostril by lifting your thumb.

    4. Inhale through the right nostril.

    5. Close the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril.

  5. Repetition: This completes one round. Repeat for nine rounds or about five minutes.

Tips for Practice

  • Breathe Gently: Ensure your breaths are slow and gentle, bringing your mind to the present moment.

  • Don’t Force It: The practice should be gentle and alert, not strenuous.

  • Finger Placement: Fingers should be placed lightly between the eyebrows.

  • Post-Practice Meditation: A short meditation after nadi shodhana is recommended to take advantage of balanced nadis.

Practicing nadi shodhana pranayama can help you achieve a calm, steady mind, and emotional balance, fostering better reactions in challenging situations.

Nadi shodhana and other powerful practices such as yoga and meditation, are taught at the Art of Living Retreat Center—visit us online at to learn more.

Manage Your Emotions with Nadi Shodhana

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