Surya Bhedana Pranayama
Definition - What does Surya Bhedana Pranayama mean?
Surya bhedana pranayama is a yogic breathing technique in which only the right nostril is used for inhaling. The name comes from the Sanskrit, surya, meaning “sun”; bhedana, meaning “piercing,” “penetrating” or “relieving”; prana, which is life force energy; and asana, which means “pose” or “posture.” In English, it is known as right nostril breathing.
In its simplest form, surya bhedana pranayama is inhaling fully through the right nostril, holding the breath and then exhaling through the left nostril.
Yogapedia explains Surya Bhedana Pranayama
To assist with this pranayama, the yogi places the forefinger and middle finger of the right hand between the eyebrows, then uses the ring finger to close the left nostril for the inhalation. The thumb is used to close off the right nostril while the breath is held for as long as is comfortable. The ring finger is then lifted to allow full exhalation through the left nostril.
The body has three main nadis, or channels, through which energy flows. They are the ida (left), pingala (right) and sushumna (central). The pingala nadi, which represents masculine sun energy, begins in the muladhara (root) chakra and ends at the right nostril, which serves as a sort of entrance to this sun energy. By practicing surya bhedana pranayama, the yogi taps into and activates the pingala nadi energy, which controls physical work and animation of the body.
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