Nadi Shodhana Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing is one of the most common and effective pranayama techniques. It can help with several respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, nasal allergy and it is also a great technique to reduce stress and anxiety as it calms the mind and brings in more clarity of thoughts.
Prana is the vital life force, the energy that animates the entire manifest world. Prana exists everywhere and can simply transform from one form to another, it is the life-sustaining force present in all living beings and the energy that moves all natural processes of the universe. Often related to the breath, prana is much more than the air we breathe.
These techniques are part of the Shatkriyas (or Shatkarmas), which are six purification techniques of Hatha Yoga, very important to release impurities and thus obtain better benefits with Asana, Pranayama and Meditation. In addition to cleaning and detoxing the physical body, these practices also help to purify and calm the mind during its process, as well as balance the three doshas (Kapha, Pitta and Vata).
Yoga is getting more and more popular around the world but not many people know the real meaning behind this ancient practice that goes way beyond physical exercises, postures and breathing.