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Surya Bhedana Pranayama (Vitality stimulating breath)

Surya Bhedana Pranayama is an energizing technique.


The Sanskrit word Surya means “sun”, which refers to pingala nadi, while Bheda literally means “to pierce”, “pass through”, “awaken”, "activating" or "stimulating".

Surya Bheda purifies and awakes pingala nadi.

As we know, we all have individual sun and individual moon within this body. The place of sun is actually behind the navel, called solar plexus chakra. So, in this technique we are activating our inner sun (the solar plexus chakra).


Surya bheda is a powerful practice and should be learned under proper guidance, so that, the effects of this may be checked. Internal breath retention and bandhas are highly enphasized in this technique.


Benefits:

According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Sutra 50:

"This best kumbhaka called suryabhedana cleanes frontal sinuses, destroys diseases occurring due to imbalance of vata dosha and also removes diseases of worms. It should be practice again and again."


Others benefits:

  • Activates the sympathetic nervous system, increases extroversion and dynamism.

  • Makes the mind more alert and perceptive.

  • Stimulates and awakes the pranic energy.

  • Create the heat in the body, so very good in winter season

  • Very beneficial for vata (wind) and kapha (phlegm) doshas personnalities.

  • This is helpful for those who have sinusitis, rheumatism, rhinitis, neuralgia, asthma,...

  • Helps to increase the hunger for good appetite.

  • Helps to perform physical activities.

  • Helps to alleviate depression, anxiety and phobias.

  • Highly recommended for those who are lethargic or introverts people.

  • Helps for meditation.


Contra-indications:

According to Gheranda Samhita:

  • People suffering from heart disease, hypertension, epilepsy, hyperthyroid, peptic ulcer, acidity or anxiety should avoid this practice.


Technique:

According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Sutra 48:

"On a pleasurable sitting object adopt a comfortable yoga posture (preferably padmasana), then slowly drawing in the external air through the right nostril"

And, Sutra 49:

"Pratice kumbhaka from the hair till the tip of the nail, after that one should exhale slowly through the left nostril."


In the preparatory practice, by inhaling through the right nostril, the left brain hemisphere and pingala nadi are activated.

By retaining the breath after inhalation, the prana is held in pingala. By exhaling through the left nostril, the energy is released along with any impurities that remain in ida.

In the final practice, only the right nostril is used for both inhalation and exhalation.


Basic method:

  1. Sit in a comfortable meditative asana.

  2. Close the eyes and relax the whole body.

  3. Breathe slowly and deeply and focus on your breath.

  4. By the right hand, do Vishnu mudra (or nasagra mudra), by the left hand Surya mudra (is the best).

  5. Close the left nostril and inhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril.

  6. At the end of inhalation, close both nostrils by the ring finder and the thumb, chin lock (Jalandhar bandha) and retain the air inside.

  7. Hold the breath for as long as is comfortable.

  8. Release the chin lock, raise the head, and exhale through the left nostril. The exhalation must be very slow in comparison to inhalation.

  9. This is one round, repeat it 10 rounds. Gradually, increase the length of inhalation/retention/exhalation.

Intermediate:

  1. Practice the basic method.

  2. Include the breathing ratios of 1:1:1, then 1:2:2 and build up to 1:4:2.

Advance practice:

  1. Can add the moola bandha.


Notes:

  • Always inhale through right nostril and exhale through left nostril.

  • Pingala nadi is responsible for the heating, not only while inhaling the heat but also exhaling the heat.

  • Practice in the guidance of the teacher.

  • Practice with empty stomach.


Hari om!!!

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