This style of breathing is a breath manipulation technique that is said to clear the passageways of the body, to make room for our life force to flow through the body unencumbered. This breathing technique requires focus and is often referred to as the Art of Breath Control.
This ancient breathing technique is known in yoga as Nadī Shodhana. To get the gist of the practice, one can look at its etymology: In Sanskrit, Nadī describes the body’s energy channels, while Shodhana means “to purify or cleanse.”
This breathing technique is used for bringing the body into balance as well as reducing stress and anxiety. By focusing your attention on only breathing through one nostril at a time, the mind and body come into alignment with each other. This breathing technique is also good for regulating the nervous system and activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
This technique can be practiced for as short as five times on each side or for 10-minutes at a time to fully bring the body into balance and calm the mind. This technique is a great preparation tool for preparing the body and mind to meditate before or after yoga.
A study on this breathing technique shows positive signs of strengthening lung health and reducing respiratory rates. Also showing positive signs for improving cardiovascular health and blood pressure.
Here is how to practice this technique:
Once you become comfortable practicing this technique on your own, enhance it by holding your breath after each inhale and exhale for a count of three.
Holding the breath between inhales and exhales strengthens the mind/body connection and brings it into alignment faster.