Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Level 2

Definition - What does Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Level 2 mean?

Nadi shodhana pranayama level 2 is a form of alternate-nostril breathing that is used to purify the nervous system. The term comes from the ancient Sanskrit language. Nadi means “nerve,” “small river” or “channel,” and refers to the nerve channels believed to carry prana (life-force energy) through the body. Shodhana means “cleansing” or “purifying”; and pranayama refers generally to yogic breathing exercises.

To practice nadi shodhana pranayama level 2, the right forefinger and middle finger rest between the eyebrows while the thumb closes the right nostril. The yogi inhales through the left nostril, then closes that nostril with the ring finger while opening the right nostril and exhaling. This breathing pattern is continued for 20 rounds, followed by normal breathing for two to three minutes, and then the pattern is reversed beginning with closing the left nostril with the right ring finger.

Yogapedia explains Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Level 2

In addition to purifying the nervous system, nadi shodhana pranayama level 2 is believed to calm and focus the mind, balance the brain's left and right hemispheres, oxygenate the blood and strengthen the respiratory system.

There are other methods of alternate-nostril breathing that are sometimes described as levels. The hasta mudra (hand position) is the same for each level, but the breathing pattern changes:

  • Nadi shodhana pranayama level 1 – The yogi takes 20 breaths in and out of the left nostril and then 20 breaths in and out of the right nostril.
  • Nadi shodhana pranayama level 3 – The yogi begins by inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through the right, then inhales through the right nostril and exhales through the left. This pattern continues for 10 rounds, followed by normal breathing for two to three minutes. The pattern is then reversed: inhaling through the right, exhaling through the left and then inhaling through the left nostril followed by an exhalation through the right.
  • Nadi shodhana pranayama level 4 – This pranayama consists of five rounds that follow this pattern: Left nostril inhalation for a count of four, both nostril closed for a count of 16, right nostril exhalation for a count of eight, both nostrils closed for a count of 16, right nostril inhalation for a count of four, both nostrils closed for a count of 16, left nostril exhalation for a count of eight, and both nostrils closed for a count of 16.
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