I came to knew about your advise on few Yoga and Pranayama blog. I am writing to you to seek your advise on Pranayama, particularly Nadi shodhan Pranayama.
Before embarking on Pranayama practises, I read books on Pranayama by BKS Aiyengaar and ‘Prana Pranayama’ by Swami Saraswati of Bihar School.
I know for sure now that Bhastrika and Kapalbhati are very risky in the starting if i start my practice now. May be after three or more months of Nadi shodhan, I can do those.
I have read all instructions and am confident of following them. I have ONE primary question this time. (I just lost my job…) I have free time for coming weeks, so i want to devote mose of the time, may be 6 to 8 hours OR my nights practising ONLY Nadi shodhan Pranayama. The doubt I have is I HAVE NOT read anywhere if any practioner/Sadhak can perform Nadi shodhan Pranayama for many many hours continously!? Of course, i will be doing Nadi shodhan very slowly and elegantly, starting with left-left nostrils and right-right nostrils for a week or so and then will pursue with Alternate Nostrils (left-right, right-left) but still i am afraid If it wont harm my nervous system in any way!!
This is only thing which I could not find in books of Bihar school of Yoga or elsewhere! Please shed light on this if I can do Nadi Shodhan for entire nights every day without any risks?
Greetings from France
It is very encouraging to see you have made a lot of reading before taking up the pranayama practices and are well aware of the negative effects of higher practices if attempted prematurely and without attaining nadi-shodhana. Yoga is a system of discipline and if it is followed in its completeness it works like magic. This is such an accurate system that we can compare it with mathematics where 1+1 is always 2. If you don’t fail in discipline…Yoga won’t fail you.
As far as your question of duration of pranayama is concerned the following is recommended in Shukla Yajurveda’s Trishikhbraahmanopanishad –
Further in Krishn Yajurveda’s Yog Tattvopanishad it has been prescribed –
You can not do nadi-shodhana all night!
Authentic yogic scriptures talk clearly about it and based on their teachings following regime for nadi-shodhana is advised to you –
- You should do nadi-shodhana four times a day. i. At sunrise ii. Noon iii. Sunset and iv. midnight
- You should gradually bring your practice duration to 80 kumbhakas (holding the breath)
- Practice of nadishodhan is not permitted for more than 80 kumbhakas in one sitting as it will definitely affect your nervous system and health of nadis.
Having thus followed the recommended regime of nadishodhan 4 times a day with proper dietary and behavioural discipline nadi-shuddhi will be achieved in just 3 months.
Since you are seriously taking up this practice unlike others who just want to do it for the sake of it, following additional information is also worth considering and should also be kept in mind. These precautions are clearly documented in YogTattvopanishad –
- During Nadi-Shodhana your food should not contain chillies, spices, excessive salt, sour/acidic/hot and dry food, green leafy vegetables, heeng (asafoetida).
- Excessive walking and bathing in early morning is not permitted.
- Fasting, dieting and sexual indulgence should be avoided.
- Over all you should not engage in activities which are too tiring and take toll on your health.
- In the initial phases of Nadi-shodhana very light food consisting of whole wheat-rice, cow-milk and clarified butter should be consumed.
To raise the level of your consciousness you may also take up Tattva Shuddhi later in your practices and for that you can get initiated in Tattva Shakti Vigyaan as and when time permits.
Wish you all the luck in your practices and sending love and light your way..
– Ach. Agyaatdarshan Anand Nath