Surya Bhedhana Pranayama

Sun Piercing Breath

Surya is the sun and bhid, the root of bhedana means to pierce or pass through. In Surya Bhedana, all the inhales are done through the right nostril and exhales are through the left. This is a digital pranayama, meaning the fingers are used to manipulate the breath.

Instructions

  1. Sit comfortably with the spine tall.
  2. Exhale completely and bring the right hand to the nostrils
  3. Using the ring finger, close off the left nostril
  4. Inhale deeply and slowly through the right nostril
  5. Seal off the right nostril with the thumb
  6. Exhale through the left nostril slowly and completely
  7. This is a complete cycle. Continue for 10-15 minutes.
  8. To end the practice, release the hand and inhale through both nostrils. Rest.
Advancing the Practice
 
Viloma pranayama can be incorporated. You can also add breath retentions. The first stage would be retention on the inhale with mula bandha and both both nostrils sealed. Once that is mastered, practice stage one with the addition of a retention on the exhale with uddiyana bandha. The most advanced variation (which should only be practiced after mastering stage one and two), combines both stages one and two.
 
Effects:
 
  • Pranic energy is channeled through the pingala nadi 
  • Increases energy and heat in the body 
  • Improves digestive power
  • Soothes and invigorates the nerves
  • Cleanses the sinuses 
 
Notes:
 
  • Surya Bhedana is good for low blood pressure.
  • In the case of nasal blockages, practice as best you can. Eventually the blocked nostril becomes clear.
  • Variations of this practice include inhaling and exhaling exclusively through the right nostril.

Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you.
Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.

Krishnamacharya
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