Sit nice and tall. Take some time to feel balanced and still. According to Swami Sivananda, if you practise with your spine bent, it’s like bombarding your spine with a hydraulic jackhammer! So let’s try to avoid that!
Place the right hand on your abdomen and your left hand on your chest. Inhale slowly through your nose and feel your abdomen move out against your right hand. The left hand, the one on your chest, should remain as still as possible. As you exhale, the abdomen sinks in. The left hand remains as still as possible. Allow your breath to become deep and smooth and focus your attention on the breath touching the nostrils. Feel the warm touch of exhalation and the cool touch of inhalation.
Maintain your posture and keep breathing fully through the belly and release your left hand on your left thigh. Make the Vishnu mudra with your right hand. So the index and middle fingers are curled and touch the base of the thumb.
If you practise in the evening, bring the ring finger to close the left nostril. Don’t press too hard! Take three breaths, out and in, through the right nostril.
Now bring your right thumb to close the right nostril, and release the ring finger. Take three breaths, out and in through the left nostril; release your right hand on your thigh then take three breaths out and in through both nostrils. These nine breaths complete one round of channel purification. Keep the breaths silent, smooth, and equal in length. Do not hold the breath.
If you practise in the morning, start breathing on the left side, then go to the right, and then breathe with both nostrils.
Once you’re finished, maintain your posture and bring your attention to the breath flowing in the nostril that feels most open. Do that for a few breaths. Next, shift your attention to the breath in the other nostril. Keep your focus there for some time.
Finally, bring the two together and sense the breath as if it is flowing in one central stream. It is as if the mind, breath, and energy become one.