Second Traditional Pranayama: How to Practice Surya Bhedana Pranayama
The word “surya”in Sanskrit means the sun and it is the quality of the sun to produce heat. In our body, the right nostril is associated with the sun, thus called Surya nadi or Pingala nadi. On the other hand the word “bheda”means to pierce. Here, it means to awaken or arouse a certain experience or quality within the body. With daily practice of Surya Bhedana Pranayama, one is able to tap into and activate the pingala nadi energy, which controls physical work and animation of the body.
Surya Bhedana Pranayama benefits
Surya bhedana pranayama has therapeutic effects. It wards off sluggishness and boosts energy level within an individual, other than generating heat in the body.
Also read: Nadi Shodhana Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing: A Step-by-step Technique
Contraindications: It is to not be performed by those with high blood pressure and cardiac ailments. People with pitta pradhanata or excessive heat in the body should not perform this pranayama. As this pranayama generates heat in the body, it is not to be practiced during summer months.
How to perform Surya Bhedana Pranayama
1, Sit in any meditative posture of your choice, Sukhasana or Siddhasana. Keep your spine long and head over your neck. Place your palms on your knees.
2. Using the Nasarga mudra, close the left nostril and start inhaling from the right, slowly, gradually, rhythmically, and fully.
3. Once inhalation is complete, close both the nostrils and retain your breath so that air does not escape from either of the nostrils.
4. Now gently lift both your fingers and exhale using both the nostrils.
5. Repeat this process in a similar manner.
Also read: First Traditional Pranayama: How to Practice Ujjayi
Counts: Inhale x 6 counts from the right nostril
Retain x 3 counts; both nostrils remain shut
Exhale x 6 counts using both the nostrils
Beginners may choose to follow this variation or follow a pattern, depending upon the capacity of their lungs.
Repetition: Repeat this round for not more than 5-10 rounds. You may choose to either perform Savasana afterwards or take a few rounds of alternate nostril breathing in order to balance out the heat.
Awareness: Bring your awareness to the right nostril and observe the sensation of cool air with every inhalation.
1. Sewada D, Kumar S, Yadav S. A Comparative Study of Trividha Nadis; Ida, Pingala & Sushumna Nadi. Int J Ayu Pharm Chem 2019; 10.