Surya Bhedana is a warming pranayama, or breathwork, focused on one nostril: the right. Surya, or sun, refers to the right nostril of the nose, which is connected to the Pingala nadi of the body. Bhedana means to pierce or pass through. By closing one nostril and forcing prana to pass through just one side, a warming affect is achieved on the body – appropriate for correcting an imbalanced coolness, which is more common during the cooler Vata and Kapha seasons.
- Sit in a comfortable seated position with a straight spine and neck.
- Close your eyes and focus your attention at your third eye, at the point between your brows.
- Become aware of your breath and proceed to breathe for several counts deeply, allowing the air to fill your lungs deeply, expanding your abdomen on the inhale and contracting it on the exhale.
- Allow the left arm to relax by your side. Using the right hand, block the left nostril with the ring finger, as shown in the posture above.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril.
- Retain the breath for a few seconds. Caution: do not hold the breath if you experience hypertension or high blood pressure.
- Open the left nostril and close the right nostril with the thumb, exhaling slowly.
- Repeat steps 6-7 for a one to three minutes.
- Release the right arm to the side and take several regular breaths before opening your eyes.