Surya Bhedana Pranayama (Right Nostril Breathing): Benefits and Steps

Surya Bhedana Panayama

Surya Bhedana Pranayama

Surya Bhedana Pranayama is an easy and powerful breathing technique and one of the eight classical pranayamas mentioned in the yoga texts “Hatha Yoga Pradipika.” “Surya signifies” the sun, and “Bhedana” is piercing, enter or breaking through something. In Surya Bhedana Pranayama, the Surya Nadi or the right nostril is stimulated. When we do breathing exercises, we usually do them with inhalations through the mouth and nose using both nostrils.  In Hatha Yoga, they are named Nadi. The right nostril is called Surya Nadi, and the left nostril is known as Chandra Nadi. In Yoga, the two nostrils have their unique qualities. The right nostril is connected to the body and the physical. The left nostril, on the other hand, is associated with the more abstract mind.  

In Surya Bheda Pranayama, all the inhalations are done through the right nostril, activating the bodily functions. It is considered a Kumbhaka exercise because you retain the breath to your limit. Seeing as this is an advanced technique, it is best learned from an experienced yoga teacher.

Surya Bhedana Pranayama Benefits

A Kafa imbalance is part of the three doshas connected to the body’s energies. People with a Kafa imbalance suffer from excess mucus, difficulties getting up in the morning, allergies, sentimental, possessive, and foggy.  Surya Bhedana Pranayama helps to remove any Kafa imbalance by increasing the body temperature. The practice of Surya Bhedana Pranayama helps to improve the energy of the body by making you more active. Other benefits include:

  • cleaning the frontal sinus
  • suggested to help remove intestinal worms
  • warms the body during winter seasons and is best practiced when the weather is cold
  • helps cure gas problems

Surya Breathing Precautions

Those suffering from heart ailments and blood pressure problems should not attempt practices involving breath retention without consulting a doctor. 

Pranayamas should not be done immediately after a meal. There should be a gap of at least 4 – 5 hours after a meal.

Surya Bhedana Technique

  1. Place yourself comfortably in a mediation pose – an asana such as Padmasana or Siddhasana preferably. 
  2. Keep your spine lengthened and your head straight up with your eyes closed.
  3. Close the left nostril with your forefinger and middle finger in the middle of your forehead and between your eyebrows.
  4. Take a long inhalation in, slowly and deeply through the right nostril.
  5. Close the right nostril with the thumb of your hand and keep the breath in for as long as you can.  Yoga text suggests that you should hold your breath until there is a bit of heat and sweat coming from you. This is a more advanced step and should be practiced with someone and with caution.
  6. Breath out by taking a long exhalation through the left nostril.
  7. Repeat this cycle around 5 – 10 times.
  8. High-level practitioners can do 80 rounds per session.
Olly Moran
Olly Moran
Website author

Olly Moran works as a freelance copywriter and brand communication strategist. She also gives lectures at the University of Amsterdam where she is based. She loves to eat healthy, sustainably, practice yoga, and workout. In her spare time, she works on music, enjoys Amsterdam, and travels.

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