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Ayurveda is a holistic healing practice which has been in use for over 5000 years. It deals with physical, mental and spiritual well-being. According to Ayurveda, the human brain functions predominantly on the left or the right side. The balance between the working of the two sides is essential for health and well-being. Most individuals go about their day to day lives with one side of the brain more active than the other. This is especially noticeable during considerable physical activity when one nostril is more in use than the other. It is fairly common for one side to be used more than the other. When using one nostril, the opposite side of the brain is particularly active and more focused. Typically, the brains and breath action switch every 90 minutes or so. Each part of the brain is responsible for different qualities as given below.

Right brain:

  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Intuition
  • Rhythm
  • Art
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Dreaming
  • Feelings

Left brain:

  • Logic
  • Language
  • Computing
  • Facts
  • Verbal communication
  • Analytical thinking


Nadi shodhana is a type of pranayama or breathing exercise. ‘Nadi’ means channel and ‘shodhana’ means purification. This is because, this method of pranayama helps clear the pathway, since breathing through each nostril provides a significant boost to the opposite side of the brain. It also stimulates clarity of mind and better mental health overall. It also improves nervous system function and can be performed regularly for improvement in quality of life and to provide stress relief. It is quite simple to practice daily and the steps are given below.


  1. Sit in a comfortable position, wearing loose clothing.
  2. Sit erect but ensure your neck, head and spine are relaxed.
  3. Take a deep breath and exhale through both nostrils.
  4. Use your right hand and close your right nostril using your thumb.
  5. Slowly inhale, being fully present and without any hurry.
  6. Once the inhalation is complete, open your right nostril and close your left nostril with your index finger.
  7. Slowly exhale through the right nostril, allowing the air to be expelled in a controlled manner.
  8. Now, inhale slowly through the right nostril.
  9. After inhaling, remove the finger covering the left nostril and close the right nostril.
  10. Exhale gently through the left nostril.
  11. Attempt to do about 5-10 rounds of this kind of breathing.


  • It balances “Prana” or life force in the body.
  • It purifies energy channels within the body known as “nadis”. There are believed to be over 72000 nadis.
  • It helps purify lungs and improves respiratory health.
  • It calms the mind and has the ability to balance all 3 doshas with regular practice.

Add nadi shodhana to your Dinacharya for better mental health.



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