Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Level 1

Definition - What does Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Level 1 mean?

Nadi shodhana pranayama level 1 is a form of alternate nostril breathing that is used in yoga practice to clear the nervous system and calm the mind. The term comes from the Sanskrit, nadi, meaning “channel,” “nerve” or “small river”; shodhana, which means “cleansing” or “purifying”; prana, meaning “life force energy”; and yama, meaning “restraint.”

To practice nadi shodhana pranayama level 1, the forefinger and middle finger of the right hand are placed between the eyebrows and the thumb closes off the right nostril. Then 20 breaths are taken in and out of the left nostril. The yogi releases the thumb and closes off the left nostril with the ring finger, taking 20 breaths in and out of the right nostril.

Yogapedia explains Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Level 1

The nadis are the nerve channels believed to carry life force energy, or prana, throughout the body. By cleansing the nadis through nadi shodhana pranayama level 1, the yogi reaps these benefits:

  • Calms and focuses the mind
  • Balance the brain's left and right hemispheres
  • Oxygenates the blood
  • Strengthen the respiratory system

There are several different methods of nadi shodhana pranayama that are sometimes referred to as four levels from simplest to more complex. The hand position, or hasta mudra, remains the same.

Nadi shodhana pranayama level 2 – Inhalation is through the left nostril followed by exhalation through the right nostril for 20 rounds. The breath returns to normal for two to three minutes, then the cycle is reversed with the inhalation through the right nostril and exhalation through the left.

Nadi shodhana pranayama level 3 (also known as anuloma viloma pranayama) – Inhalation is through the left nostril, followed by exhalation through the right, then inhalation through the right nostril and exhalation through the left. After 10 rounds, the breath returns to normal for two to three minutes, then the pattern is reversed.

Nadi shodhana pranayama level 4 – This involves five rounds of a more complex pattern: Inhalation through the left nostril for a count of four, both nostrils closed off for a count of 16, exhalation through the right for a count of eight, both nostrils again closed for 16 counts, inhalation through the right nostril for a count of four, both nostrils closed off for a count of 16, then exhalation through the left nostril for a count of eight. Finally, both nostrils are closed for a count of 16.

Share this: