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Breathing Exercise (Pranayama) - Surya-Bheda (Right-nostril breathing)

Surya Bheda Breathing is the source of life. This is the basic reason why Ancient Yogis developed different Breathing Techniques, from Beginner or Basic to Advanced Breathing Techniques. These Breathing Techniques or Pranayamas are designed to allow the free flow of energy in the body and to purify the body's energy channels called nadis. The practice of Pranayama also ensures that every cell in the body receives oxygen and nutrients.

Surya means sun, referring to the right nostril which is the path of the Pingala Nadi. When you inhale solely through this nostril, heat is created in the body and the impurities that blocks the flow of Prana are dispelled. You may start your practice by repeating Surya Bhedana ten times and slowly build up a to forty.

Surya-Bhedana (Right-Nostril Breathing)

This refers to the Breathing Exercise in which you inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left, holding the inhaled breath as long as possible before exhaling. Beginners should expect to use their fingers in order to close either nostril, though you may eventually develop an ability to do this without using the fingers. You may close your nostrils in any way you choose to; but the traditional technique which has been the standard practice is as follows:
  1. Press the index and middle finger of the right hand against the palm of that hand
  2. Use the thumb to close the right nostril and the ring and little fingers to close the left nostril.
  3. If your are left handed, you may reverse this procedure.
  4. When both nostrils are open, the fingers rest on the bridge of the nose.
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Article Comments
Friday 7th August 2009 at 4:51:13 AM  

This exercise seems quite simple but I found my breathing quite constricted when using one nostril then the other. Why did it feel as if I was suffocating?

Sunday 27th March 2011 at 12:02:34 PM  

I know this post is old, but I thought I would answer Melissiah''s question.

If you feel constricted by using only one nostril, it is because of one of two reasons: Either you are used to breathing in using your mouth only, so breathing with your nose is substantially harder/you are used to breathing fuller breaths and felt as though you weren''t taking in as much air; or, you have stoppage in your nasal passages. Doing nose-only breathing exercises, and practicing other simpler pranayams before this one can substantially help your capacity. If the reason was the second, doing this for an extended period will completely clear you out, so air should flow smoothly.

Also, sometimes you expect to feel constricted, so your mind convinces yourself that you are. A good remedy for this is to visualize having to inhale a large object like a golf ball. This will help subconsciously expand your nasal passage and allow for more air intake. Mind over matter.

Juan Torres
Thursday 8th December 2011 at 11:52:02 AM  

One nostril is always dominent. It changes every few houres. also use a neti pot daily, you can use salt and baking soda. or the solution that comes with it.

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