Surya Bhedana ( Sun Piercing breath) & Chandra Bhedana (Moon piercing breath)
Single nostril breathing for balance.
Hatha Yoga: The dual energy channels and the breath
The right nostril is energetically associated with the "Sun " (HA) or Pinglaga Nadi, our body’s heating, masculine energy. The left nostril is symbolized by the “Moon” (THA) or Ida Nadi , our body’s cooling, feminine energy. Both these nadis or energy channels, run crisscross up the central channel or Shushumna, that runs up and down the spine. We are all created by the balanced energies and qualities of the masculine and feminine.
In the average person these energies are typically changing daily and are often in conflict, which leads to disquiet and disease. The goal of traditional Hatha Yoga is to integrate and harmonize the HA ( masculine) and THA ( feminine) for overall happiness and health. The purpose of these two breaths is to create balance by “warming” a “cool” body-mind and "Cooling down" and overheated body-mind. It is not advised to do both breaths on the same day, as this will cause further imbalance. Below is a guide on how to perform this breathing.
Surya Bhedana energises, clears, and heats up the body-mind., It is good when we need energy, courage and strength. Chandra Bhedana is perfect after a long or stressful day to cool, nourish and help the body-mind unwind into restful sleep.
Try the Breath
Sit in a comfortable, upright, seated posture, like Sukhasana above and make Mrigi Mudra.
For Surya Bhedana : block your left nostril and inhale through your right. Then close the right and exhale through the left. Continue in this manner, inhale right, exhale left, for 1 to 5 minutes.
For Chandra Bhedana, simply reverse the instructions in above, blocking the right nostril and inhaling always through your left nostril, then exhaling through your right. Again continue this cycle of breath for 1 to 5 minutes.
Return to normal breathing and note how you feel. Observe the sensations in the body.
· Avoid Surya Bhedana if you have high blood pressure, Glaucoma or heart disease
· Do not do both breaths on the same day