This breathing technique helps calm the mind, cool the body and helps you to prepare for meditation. This practice also helps to store and control Prana (vital energy). Nadi Shodana cools you down on a hot day and also strengthens and cleanses the entire respiratory system.

Because our breathing naturally alternates between the two nostrils, changing roughly every 2 hours, practising Nadi Shodana helps balance the two elements: the right represents the hot sun and the left is the cool moon.


1. Sit in easy pose or simple cross legs. Make sure your back is straight and your head and spine erect. Position your left hand in chin mudra (index finger touching middle finger) and your right hand in Vishnu mudra extend. Take 2 or 3 deep breaths here and close your eyes.
2. Inhale deeply through both nostrils and bring the right hand to the nose and cover the right nostril with your right thumb.
3. Exhale slowly through the left nostril slowly for 8 seconds, less if this is uncomfortable.
4. Now inhale through the left nostril for around 4 seconds. Again, reduce this if you have to.
5. Exhale through the right nostril for 8 seconds.
6. Now inhale through the right nostril for 4 seconds.
8. Continue to repeat the same process for at least three rounds up to 10 rounds a day.

This is a modified version of Nadi Shodana with no breath retention. Remember to never hold the breath while pregnant.

This is an extract from Cheryl MacDonald’s new book YogaBellies for Pregnancy available in paperback and Kindle on click here

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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.

I believe Yoga is for everyone.