Nadi Breathing Exercises

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The Nadis are psychic nerve channels which extend to all parts of the body in countless number, and which serve to carry the prana to every organ and part thereof. The Yogi teach that these channels of the nadis must be kept open and free, so as to allow an uninterrupted flow of prana through them. They have designed special exercises for this purpose. There are specifically three of these: "The Nadi Purifier," "The Nadi Stimulator," and "The Nadi Vibrator."

The Nadi Purifying Exercise should be used at the beginning of any practice of rhythmic breathing as it clears and cleanses, purifies and rends free the channels of the nadis, and thus allows for an excellent flow of prana through the. system. It is performed by this fourfold process:

1 Assume the stable and easy Asana.

2 Inhale a deep breath, using both nostrils during the count of 6 units.

3 Retain the breath for 3 units.

4 Shape your lips as if you intended to whistle, and then silently whistle out the breath through your pursed lips, using considerable vigor and propelling force in doing so. Perform this special method of exhaling the breath during the count of 6 units.

Repeat the process seven times without haste or overexertion. Then rest a few minutes before undertaking any other breathing exercise.

In addition to its employment as a preliminary to further rhythmic breathing, this Nadi Purifier Exercise will be found very helpful when you are tired or fatigued in any way; in which case, it will be well to continue it with The Nadi Stimulator Exercise which follows.

This exercise should be used at the conclusion of any practice of rhythmic breathing as it stimulates the nadis, and accordingly stimulates the entire nervous system, and the body in general. Like the previous nadis exercise, it is accomplished through a fourfold process:

1 Stand erect, with head, neck, and back held straight, shoulders thrown back, abdomen slightly drawn in, and legs straight and stiff.

2 Inhale fully for 6 units.

3 Retain the breath for 3 units as you perform this "muscle movement:" extend both arms straight out in front of you, on a line with the shoulders, fists clenched—not stiffly, but in an easy straight position; slowly draw your clenched fists back to your shoulders, contracting the arm muscles as you do so, so that when the fists reach the shoulders the arms will be stiff and taut. At this point in the exercise . . .

4 Exhale the breath for 6 units.

Repeat the exercise seven times in a leisurely manner, then rest for a few moments. A little practice is necessary in order to acquire the knack of the peculiar "snap" of the muscle movements. The exercise has a bracing, tonic effect.

The Nadi Vibrator Exercise is employed when you feel an apathetic condition of mind and body. The exercise tends to "shake up" the whole system, and its vibrating influence removes stagnation from the circulatory and nervous systems. It is performed as follows:

1 Assume the stable and easy Asana.

2 Inhale during the count of 6 units, but instead of drawing the breath in the regular manner as a steady, continuous inhalation, inhale in a series of short, vigorous sniffs, just as if you were sniffing at a pungent substance.

3 Retain the breath for 3 units.

4 Exhale the breath in a long, deliberate restful "sighing" breath, for a count of 6 units.

Repeat this exercise seven times; then rest for a few minutes. The peculiar "vibrating effect" of this exercise will suggest its employment at times when you feel sluggish.

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