Nine-Round Breathing Meditation is a Tibetan Tantric Pranayama in which one carries out nine breaths that essentially aim at “cleansing” the three main Prana Energy Channels. Additionally, the exercise aims at filling the Channels with fresh Prana.
In Indian Yoga and Tantra practices these three primary Energy Channels (aka Nadis) are named Sushumna Nadi (the central Channel that runs from between the eyebrows along the spine until just below the navel), Ida Nadi (running from the left nostril on the left side of the spine until just below the navel), and Pingala Nadi (running from the right nostril on the right side of the spinal column until just below the navel). The three Channels merge together below the navel.
The final goal of this breathing technique is a means to calm down body and mind, and gain deeper focus and concentration for a successful meditation session. Nevertheless, it can also be used simply to elevate one’s energy levels and vitality, to combat physical dis-ease, or to balance out and restore mental and emotional well-being.
As with many Tibetan breathing and meditation practices the technique relies heavily on visualization. Before doing this seated breathing technique, one visualizes the three Channels (or tubes) and their trajectory within the body through which Prana moves. Typically, one imagines them as round, smooth, and hollow. The Prana (or Wind) that is going to be inhaled through the Channels is imagined as white, luminous, life-giving light. Additionally, one can imagine distinct colors for each Prana Energy Channel.
The first three breaths are done by closing the left nostril with a finger, inhaling deeply and slowly through the right nostril while imagining that you are sending Prana all the way down to the end of the right Energy Channel where it subsequently flows into the left Energy Channel. One then closes the right nostril and exhales slowly and fully out of the left nostril while imagining that all impurities and negative energies leave body and mind.
The second set of three breaths are done by closing the right nostril with a finger, inhaling deeply and slowly through the left nostril while imagining that you are sending Prana all the way down to the end of the left Energy Channel where it subsequently flows into the right Energy Channel. One then closes the left nostril and exhales slowly and fully out of the right nostril while imagining that all impurities and negative energies leave body and mind.
The last three breaths are done through both nostrils simultaneously, inhaling deeply and slowly and sending Prana down both left and right Channel and while exhaling sending Prana up the central Channel to the top of the head while imagining that all impurities and negative energies leave body and mind.
Do mind that in some versions of Nine-Round Breathing meditation one starts with breathing in through the left nostril instead of the right nostril. Additionally, one can imagine certain colors for the Prana entering the left, right, or central Channel, and again other colors for the air that’s exhaled through a certain Channel, and so on.