Third Traditional Pranayama: How to Practice Chandra Bhedana Pranayama
The Sanskrit word “chandra” means the moon. The moon is a symbol of coolness; similarly, this pranayama is responsible for generating coolness in the body. Chandra Bhedana Pranayama is a simple yet effective breathing technique for cooling down your body after an intensive asana class. The left nostril, commonly known as the Chandra nadi or the Ida nadi, begins from the Mooladhara chakra (base of the spine) and travels up to the left nostril.
Also read: Nadi Shodhana Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing: A Step-by-step Technique
Traditionally, Chandra Bhedana Pranayama is not enlisted under the ancient texts, but it is safe enough to ensure that one needs to balance between the Sun and Moon energies, the Yin and the Yang in order to have a balanced life.
Chandra Bhedana Pranayama benefits
Chandra Bhedana Pranayama has proven to be beneficial in regulating the flow of bile. Daily practice reduces heartburns or excessive heat in the body. The cooling effect soothes nervous tension in the body. It induces calmness by helping one overcome mental restlessness.
Also read: First Traditional Pranayama: How to Practice Ujjayi
Contraindications: Avoid doing Chandra Bhedana Pranayama during the winter or cold months due to its cooling effect on the body. Anyone with nasal infections, coughs, or colds should stay away from the practice of Chandra Bhedana Pranayama. Those with low blood pressure and asthma should also not practice this technique.
How to perform Chandra Bhedana Pranayama
1. Sit in any meditative posture like Sukhasana, Ardha Padmasana, or Padmasana as per your preference. Keep your spine long and head over your neck. Place your palms on your knees.
2. Using the Nasarga mudra, close the right nostril and start inhaling from the left, slowly, 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.
Counts: Inhale x 6 counts: From the left 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 the process for 5-10 more rounds. It is advisable to not practice Surya Bhedana and Chandra Bhedana Pranayama one after the other. You may practice Chandra Bhedana Pranayama at the end of your yoga practice to help your body cool down after the rigorous physical exercise.
Awareness: Bring your awareness to the left nostril and observe the sensation of cool air with every inhalation.
1. 1. Khedikar SG, Erande MP, Shukla D V. Critical comparison of Yogic Nadi with Nervous System. Jism 2017; 4: 107–13.