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Single Nostril Breath

Surya Bhedana Pranayama

(soor-yah beh-DAH-na)
surya = sun
bhedana = piercing

chandra = moon

Step by Step

Our right nostril is energetically associated with our body's heating energy, symbolized by the "Sun" and the syllable HA, our left nostril with our body's cooling energy, symbolized by the "Moon" and the syllable THA.

In the average person these energies are typically in conflict, which leads to disquiet and disease. The goal of traditional Hatha Yoga is to integrate and harmonize HA and THA for happiness and health. The purpose of these two breaths then is to create balance by "warming" a "cool" body-mind and vice versa.

Sit in a comfortable asana and make Mrigi Mudra. For Surya Bhedana block your left nostril and inhale through your right. Then close the right and exhale through the left. Continue in this manner, inhale right, exhale left, for 1 to 3 minutes.

For Chandra Bhedana, simply reverse the instructions in (2), inhaling always through your left nostril, exhaling through your right. Again continue for 1 to 3 minutes.

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Reader Comments

I am able to control breathing from right nosestril leaving by left months to gether day&night, without taping by fingers. Regular practice done by me at the age of 74 gives vigour/energy both in mind&body I have succeeded in this and feeling young &healthy.


What Asan should you take while practicing Suryabedhan Mudra?

Jnani Chapman

We are exploring Surya Bhedana with people in cancer treatment - chemotherapy, not radiation - to see if it helps warm the body without hyper activating their energy balance.

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