In nadi shodhanam, we breathe through one nostril and then the other, alternating sides in rounds. This breathing technique helps to calm, balance, and regulate both physical and subtle energies. Nadi shodhanam pranayama offers many benefits. It helps to balance and harmonize the body and mind, while deepening inner awareness. While practicing nadi shodhanam pranayama, you are breathing deeply and consciously. This practice is used to balance the 2 sides of the nervous system----the sympathetic that controls “fight or flight” and the parasympathetic that manages “rest and digest”----to regulate stress and relaxation.

Cup your nose with the thumb and the last 2 finders of your right hand. Place your thumb against your right nostril and your last 2 fingers against the left . Press your thumb to close the right nostril while relaxing the fingers to leave the left nostril open. Inhale through the left nostril for a 5-10 count, hold the breath for the same count, and then press your fingers to close the left nostril and exhale on the right side for the same count. Now do the same with the other side by keeping your fingers pressed on the left nostril, while relaxing your thumb to leave the right nostril open. Inhale through the right nostril for 5-10 counts, hold the breath for the same count and then press your thumb to close the right nostril and exhale on the left side for the same count.

Inhale left, hold, exhale right, inhale right, hold, exhale left. (One round) Repeat 5-20 rounds.

The 2/1 count meditation is similar to the 10-count meditation, but instead of counting to 10 with each inhale, you will internally say 2 and with each exhale say 1.

This technique is great because it keeps you present without feeling like you are trying to finish something. It is easy to get caught up in the counting and the 2/1 practice allows you to soften a little deeper into the Self, while supporting your mind with “something to do.”  Starting with the 2 count on the inhale goes against the natural tendency enough to keep us present without feeling like there is an endpoint to accomplish. Try to sustain this practice for 5-20 minutes daily.

For classes and programs with Mayuri, please visit www.prasanthsitudio.com.

This ancient pranayama technique works with breath retention. Retaining the breath brings us back to the two most primitive aspects of the mind: desires and aversions. This breathing practice brings us back to the root of our desires: the craving for life itself and the root of our aversions----the fear of death. As we move through the practice, we notice this desire, and we soften, knowing that we are not drowning, choking, or dying. We are examining the mind at its core, watching what happens, and training our being to breath with more balance and intentionality.

The basic pranayama technique comprises of the following three parts:
  • Puraka means controlled inhalation
  • Kumbhaka means retention of breath
  • Rechaka means controlled exhalation
Pranayama Instructions

Start in a comfortable seated position. Allow the spine to be upright and the shoulders to be directly over the hips. Bring the awareness into the body and feel the movements of the breath within the body expanding and contracting. In this breathing exercise, the inhalation, the space between the inhale and exhale, and the exhalation are all of the same length. Start by lengthening your inhale and exhale to a count of 6 or 8. Continue to inhale and exhale like this for several rounds. As you settle into a pace of inhale and exhale, retain the breath after the inhale. The retention of the breath should be the same length as the inhale and the exhale.

Inhale and exhale for a count of 10 each. Repeat several times. Then inhale for a count of 10, hold the breath for a count of 10, and exhale slowly for a count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times and then come back to a moderately paced breath.

For information on classes and trainings with Mayuri, visit www.prasanthistudio.com

by Mayuri Gonzalez

We live in a society where we pat ourselves on the back when we are multi-tasking and juggling. The truth is, that nobody can truly do more than one thing at a time. We are never fully engaged with anything when we are multi-tasking and divided attention always leads to some degree of suffering, now or in the future.

We’re most comfortable and calm when we’re mindful and that’s easiest to do when we’re doing one thing at a time. I know, it’s not always possible. But most of us can do less multi-tasking, and become more efficient.  We can make a conscious effort to do one thing from start to finish before moving on to something else. Much of the clutter in our homes comes from launching into something before fully completing something else. Think about it. Do you arrive into your home and finish the process of arrival by taking off and putting away your shoes, unpacking the stuff that you have on you, and putting everything away in its place; or do you find yourself walking in the door and throwing your coat off and your shoes off and leaving a trail of stuff following behind you. (like me!). Are you eating at a table or a space you have created for meals, really appreciating, sensing, and tasting the food you have prepared or are you sitting down trying to get caught up on the news or cleaning out your email box on your iPhone while you haphazardly stuff some food into your mouth? 

Chose how your spend your time with awareness and reflect on how it is working out for you. Check email every 20 minutes instead of every time one comes in. Turn your cell phone alerts off so that you’re in charge of when you respond to texts or emails. You don't need to be on call all the time. Remember when we didn't have cell phones? We chose the force they have over us.

Give yourself permission to focus on what’s important to you and take it one thing at a time.


Mayuri owns a family yoga and wellness studio: Prasanthi Studio in Pelham, NY with her business partner Lindsay Malejko. For more information about classes, workshops, private sessions, and trainings, please visit www.prasanthistudio.com.

This is a time of year that many of us take the time to reflect on the past year and envision the year ahead. This can be a powerful practice which can set the stage for transformation and awakening. However, be leery of the negative dialogue that can beat you up reminding you of all the things that you should have already done or the inner critic that tears you apart. What is done is done. There is no other option for what was. All we can do is reinvent this moment, and each moment after that. One moment at a time. One breath at a time.

In yoga, we practice with the body we have right now and make space to grow and develop into the being that we deeply desire. So allow your 2013 to begin with courage and connection, rather then getting frustrated with yourself and your lack of progress or discipline doing what you "should" be doing. Make a conscious commitment to deeply love and care for yourself.

Plunge into 2013 with love, courage and confidence.