Surya Bhedana Pranayama: The Breath Technique of Sun Penetration

Surya Bhedana Pranayama, a breathing technique that is more advanced than most other practices, invites the warming and invigorating qualities of the Sun into our bodies and mind. This technique can be used when you need a boost in energy or feel a little sluggish. It stimulates the nervous and heats up the body. Surya Bhedana Pranayama can provide a variety of benefits, which go beyond physical vitality. It can uplift the spirit, improve mental focus and instill a deep sense of inner strength.

What is Surya Bhedana Pranayama?

Surya Bhedana Pranayama is also called Right Nostril Breathing, Sun-Piercing Breath or Right Nostril Breathing. Its name comes from Sanskrit, where Surya means sun, Bhedana indicates “piercing or passing through” and Pranayama signifies “breath regulation” or the “expansion” of life force.

This pranayama uses a pattern of inhalation to activate the masculine, warming energy of the Sun. It is important to increase the flow of prana through the Surya Nadi or Pingala (the right energy channels) in order to promote an increase in energy and body heat.

Traditionally, yogis use the Vishnu Mudra during Surya Bhedana Pranayama. A mudra, or “seal”, is a hand gesture that is thought to direct and channel energy in the body. This mudra stimulates lungs and the heart, and promotes balance and harmony. Vishnu, a Hindu god, represents balance, preservation and sustenance. The use of this mudra, while optional, can enhance the experience of Surya Bhedana Pranayama by bringing a greater sense of harmony, intention and equanimity.

Surya Bhedana: When and How to Use It

Surya Bhedana Pranayama is useful for a quick boost of energy, whether it’s in the morning or at midday. Because of its energizing effect, it is not suitable before bedtime. This is especially effective if you want to increase your body’s warmth, have mental clarity or need it during cold weather.

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