Surya Bhedana

Definition - What does Surya Bhedana mean?

Surya bhedana is a Sanskrit term that means “piercing the sun,” from the words, surya, meaning “solar” or “sun,” and bhedana, which means “piercing,” “separating” and “causing to flow.”

The term refers to a yogic breathing exercise, or pranayama, that involves breathing in through the right nostril only. For this reason, surya bhedana is usually translated as “right nostril breathing.” It is most often practiced with the left nostril closed off by the ring finger of the right hand with the forefinger and middle fingers resting between the eyebrows. The exhalation is usually through the left nostril.

Yogapedia explains Surya Bhedana

To understand why right nostril breathing is called surya bhedana, one should understand the bio-energy channels. In yogic philosophy, the body contains many energy channels, or nadi, but there are three main ones that travel the length of the spine. The surya nadi weaves from the base of the spine back and forth across the spine as prana (life force energy) travels upward and exits through the right nostril.

Surya bhedana, therefore, is the technique that clears the surya nadi and allows the surya, or sun, energy to flow (bhedana). Sun energy and the surya nadi are associated with the physical body, focusing outward and physical work, and it generates heat.

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