--> Skip to main content

Surya Bhedana Pranayama Benefits

Surya Bhedana Pranayama is particular yogic breathing exercise. The exercise provides beneficial results as it helps in generating heat in the body and removing several disorders from the body. In Yoga, Surya (the sun) means either the entity located at the navel, generating heat in the abdomen which digests food and devours the elixir (amruta) that flows from the moon in the head, or it means the right nostril.

Surya nadi is the channel on the right side of the spine which runs up to the right nostril. Surya Bhedana pranayama is a variety of breathing exercise (pranayama) in which the right nostril is used for inspiration, and after holding the breath inside, expiration is done through the left nostril. It is mentioned in Gheranda Samhita (V.65-67) that this practice leads to arousal of the dormant kundalini, the serpent power.

The procedure for the Surya Bhedana pranayama is described in Hatha Yoga Pradipika (II.48-50) as follows –

Assuming a comfortable sitting posture like the adept posture, lotus posture or svastika posture, the air should be slowly drawn in through the right nostril. The breath should be held inside in the state of kumbhaka, (retention of the breath in the lungs). The two locks, namely, the chin lock (jalandhara bandha) and the anal lock (mula bandha) should be employed while holding the breath. Towards the end of the kumbhaka and beginning of the following recaka (breathing out) the abdominal lock (uddiyana bandha) should be applied. This makes the vital air (vayu) flow through the central path (brahma nadi). After kumbhaka the air should be let out through the left nostril. It cleanses the skull and removes worms and any disorders due to vata dosha (imbalance produced by wind). Hence the Surya Bhedana pranayama must be practiced again and again.

This variety of pranayama is recommended in cold weather for generating heat in the body.