Surya Bhedana is classical pranayama that energizes the Prana (vital life force) and fills the solar energy inside the body.
What distinguishes Surya Bhedana from regular breathing?
Well, what distinguishes Surya Bhedana from regular breathing is the limited patterning of inhalation and exhalation, respectively, through the right and left nostrils.
One of the eight classical pranayamas stated in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (HYP) is Surya Bhedana.
This outstanding Surya Bhedana purifies the brain, treats worm-related illnesses, and destroys disorders that arise from an excess of wind (bacteria). 50 HYP verse
Meaning of Surya Bhedana
The right nostril is known as the “portal of Sun Energy” or “Pingala Nadi” while the left nostril is known as the “gateway of Moon Energy” or “Ida Nadi” in yogic terminology. The body’s hot or masculine vitality is represented by Sun energy, whereas the body’s calm or feminine vitality is represented by Moon energy.
If we interpret Surya Bhedana literally, “Surya” means “Sun” and “Bhedana” means “Piercing” or “Entering.” While Yama is the “Control” and Prana is the “Life Force,” respectively, in Pranayama.
The phrase refers to a breathing technique that allows Prana to enter the body through the right nostril as sun energy (Surya).
In its most basic form, Surya Bhedana Pranayama involves taking a deep breath through the right nostril, holding it for however long is comfortable, and then slowly expelling through the left.
Importance of Surya Bhedana
We need some energy to digest the food we eat [efn_note]Protein takes the most energy to digest [source][/efn_note], right? But where this energy stems is the navel. In yoga, ‘Navel’ is considered the place of the Sun in our body.
When we practice Surya Bhedana Pranayama, we actually stimulate the internal organs of the navel region. We generate heat through the right nostril breathing and subtle Nadis network in the body, redirecting this heat to the navel region. The heat came through Pingala Nadi (right nostril) used in the digestion process and also intestinal worms dissolved in it.
Pingala Nadi (right nostril) is considered to originate from the base of the spine[efn_note] Spine Anatomy [source][/efn_note]. The base of the spine is the place where Kundalini energy lies in the dormant state and also Muladhara/root chakra beside here.
The practice of Surya Bhedana Pranayama cultivates our awareness around the base of the spine region. In this way, this pranayama stimulates root chakra thus important practice to awaken the kundalini energy.
How to Perform Surya Bhedana?
Step 1: Choose a comfortable cross-legged position while seated on the mat. For right nostril breathing, you can either adopt the Easy Pose (Sukhasana) or the Lotus Pose (Padmasana).
Check your head and spine for alignment. To get the most benefit from pranayama, make sure they were all in a single, straight line.
Step 2 – Make Mrigi mudra (deer seal) [sometimes also called Vishnu mudra] with your right hand and bring it close to the left nostril to shut it from the ring finger & little finger. Make Gyan mudra with your left hand.
Mrigi Mudra – Fold your right-hand’s index finger & middle finger down towards the palm while keeping the ring and little finger in the natural position.
Step 3 – Inhalation
Start the Surya Bhedana Pranayama by inhaling deeply through the right nostril (while left nostril is kept closed).
Step 4 – Retention
Step 5 – Exhalation
Release your little finger and ring from your left nose (while keeping shut your right nostril with your thumb). Completely exhale the air that has been trapped in your left nostril.
As you exhale, feel the heated air leaving your left nostril. It demonstrates how much body heat is produced during Surya Bhedana Pranayama.
Surya Bhedana Pranayama: One Round: Steps 3 (right inhale), 4, and 5 (hold) (Exhale left)
Continue inhaling to the right, holding it in, and exhaling to the left for 1-3 minutes or only 5-10 rounds.
The ratio of Inhale: Hold in: Exhale for Surya Bhedana Pranayama
Novices can skip step 4, which involves holding one’s breath. Exhale to Inhale Ratio at the Start is 1:1.
Inhale: Hold: Exhale ratio for an experienced practitioner is 1:4:2. This means that you should fully inhale in a second, hold your breath for four seconds, and then fully exhale in two seconds.
After using this breathing technique for at least 15 days, you can choose this ratio.
While practicing breathing through the right nostril, there are a few safety considerations that must be taken. These consist of:
- Practiced on an empty stomach or four to five hours after a meal.
- Always breathe in via your right nostril.
- Only the left nostril should be used to exhale.
- If you have epilepsy, high blood pressure, or a cardiac problem, you shouldn’t perform this workout.
- If you’ve recently had surgery, talk to your doctor before beginning this activity.
- If the temperature is high where you are jogging, avoid doing it.
Tips For Best Results
- Just for as long as it feels comfortable, hold your breath inside. Don’t exert too much effort.
- Can be performed whenever there is a break of four to five hours following a meal.
- While doing it, leave all noise, thoughts, and distractions behind and focus on the root chakra.
Surya Bhedana Benefits
- Surya Bhedana boosts the digestive system’s effectiveness.
- Through Surya Bhedana, the sun’s energy activates the physical body and all of its related activities.
- Replenishes the blood’s oxygen supply.
- Enlivens the body and activates the pranic energy.
- Greatly reduces the signs and symptoms of depression.
- lowers fatigue and drowsiness while reviving and energizing the body.
the frontal sinuses are cleaned.
- Raises body temperature and removes unbalanced mucous.
- Decreases anxiety and improves stress management.
- Clears obstructions from the pranic energy line, allowing for spiritual awareness.
In Hatha Yoga, the energy linked with the letter “Ha” is represented by Surya Bhedana. Ha stands for sun and heat. This breathing technique creates a balance of heat and chill, happiness and sorrow when used in conjunction with the left nostril.
Surya Bhedana Pranayama is a breathing exercise that can help us manage our breaths, thoughts, and emotions. It elicits feelings of tranquility, joy, and fulfillment. The right nostril breathing method can potentially delay aging by performing it regularly. Given its many advantages, there doesn’t appear to be any reason why it can’t become a regular part of our lives. Adopt Surya Bhedana Pranayama right away for a happy and healthy life.