Breathing away lifetimes of karma with 40 days of Nadi Cleansing

Oh, what a joy is the Nadi Cleansing kriya! This meditation is some sweet, sweet balm, and I recommend it to anyone new to meditation, or who struggles to sit through a 31-minute session.

The Nadi Cleansing kriya is essentially anuloma viloma / alternate nostril breathing, with a ratio pattern of inhale, hold, exhale. I used a ratio (shared with other Hatha yoga schools) of inhale to the count of four (Sa Ta Na Ma), hold for the count of 16 (Sa Ta Na Ma x four) and exhale to the count of two (wahe guru). I practiced it for just over 40 days, 31 minutes each day. When it came to the end, just before Christmas, I was reticent to move on from its balmy shores! It was a beautiful, gentle experience.

I have nothing much to report from my journey with Nadi Cleansing. There were no bells and whistles, which was something of a relief after the megadramz of 40 days of Tershula Kriya! Using the mantra to count out the ratio was helpful in anchoring at least a tiny part of me in the here and now… I admittedly struggled to stay present. If it wasn’t for the internal mantra counting, I would have been completely lost in the ether, swimming through endless tides of memory.

Nadi Cleansing’s impact on the ‘bigger picture’ was very gentle. I felt balanced and grounded in my everyday life. I stayed close to home (2020 – ha!) and was generally small and quiet. I’m sure this supported the deep subconscious cleanse of this practice.

As an aside, I felt comforted that the Nadi Cleansing kriya has its roots in the Gherandha Samhita. This hathayoga text (among others) informed the 15th-century Hathayogapradipika, which is a cornerstone of contemporary hatha practice. Interesting how I consider antiquity (and, I suppose, tenacity) to lend credibility to a practice. I have to keep challenging this in myself… it’s an ongoing dialogue! The negative mind loves the certainty of a path that has been tried and tested.

I hope you enjoy – I’m sure you will!

Sat nam x

Ps the image / instructions is from Prana Pranee Pranayam, p141.

4 years ago