Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


I noticed in many readings that there is a focus on practicing nadi-shodhana. It is almost practiced before any kind of important practice. Is it really very essential? I do practice it before meditation and sometimes during the day. I learned that this will help open sushumna which will calm the mind, but I don’t feel any direct effect of it on me, any thought in this regard?


Two have answered this question: Lalita Arya (Ammaji) and Michael Smith.

From Lalita Arya (Ammaji):

Dear Friend, when I was very young I was taught that Patience is a Virtue. It did not mean much to me then, but with maturity came some kind of wisdom that made sense.

If I may ask when you have your meals how long does it normally take for their nutritive values to spread into your body, your mind? It does not happen immediately. Does it? And this is only the physical. So what about the subtle - although breathing practices are also a physical exercise. 

If the mind does not calm down right away after the first trial, do it at least 3 times again. Just the concentration will help to clear disturbances, especially if eyes are closed and external input is monitored.

Be patient, do not look for results, just practice. Expectations disappoint, discourage and create imbalances in the mind. Do what you have to do, carry on and the results will come in their own time. Wishing you perseverance and success.

From Michael Smith:

There is academic leaning and experiential learning.

For the academic learning of Nadi Shodhana and Sushumna Opening, there are Swami Rama’s Meditation and Its Practice (Chapter 5) and his Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita (pp. 238-241).

For the experiential learning of Sushumna Opening the advice is always Practice! Practice! Practice!  Practice makes perfect!

There is a helpful practicum for taking Nadi Shodhana into Sushumna Opening from Dr. Dale Buegel, one of Swami Rama’s dedicated students. Dr. Buegel’s request to Swami Rama was “to be taught in silence” and “to actually experience what is written about in ancient texts like the Yoga  Sutras.”  

Below is a link to that teaching:


Editor’s Note:

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