This pranayama is called Chandra bhedi as its practice stimulates the nerves controlled by the moon. Chandra is the moon. Bhedana means passing through. In Chandra Bhedana Pranayama inhalation is done through the left nostril and exhale through the right.
It is said that energy passes through Ida (Chandra) Nadi on the inhalation and through Pingala or Surya Nadi on the exhalation. These are larger nadis that hold the balance of magnetism and energy created by the sun and moon. They travel from the base of the spine to the point between the eyebrows.
Read general guidelines for pranayama before starting chandra bhedi pranayama.
- Sit on your favourite seating position Asana (Padma asana,Vajra asana or Sukh asana) in a well ventilated room free from any distractions. Keep the waist, back, neck and spine erect. For the beginners, you can sit on a chair or sit cross legged on the yoga mat/ carpet keeping your back, neck and spine erect. For very weak people, lie down in supine position similar to shava asana. Inhaling and exhaling should be slow and it should not make noise. Gradually increase the time for inhalation and exhalation. Keep the breathing exercise easy and enjoy it. Do as per your potential, do not tax your body. Any time you feel discomfort, discontinue and take rest.
- For closing the right nostril, it should be pressed with thumb of right hand. For closing the left right nostril, it should be pressed with ring finger of right hand. Keep the other hand on your knee(gyana mudra or palms open)
- Alternate method. For closing the right nostril, it should be pressed with thumb of right hand. For closing the left right nostril, it should be pressed with ring finger of right hand.
- Initially your hands will get tired easily, so you can use either of the hands. One hand gets tired , use other hand.
Steps For Chandrabhedi Pranayama
- Find a comfortable seated position. Gently exhale all of the air from the lungs.
- Stage 1 – Inhale slowly through the left nostril and fill up your lungs to maximum capacity and breathe out through the right nostril.
- Stage 2 – Breathe in though the left nostril. Hold after inhalation. The first few times hold for a few seconds. Gradually increase the duration of the retention. Exhale out through the right nostril. Allow the exhalation to be longer than the inhalation. (When you have gained sufficient practice for 2-3 months, practice retention of breath. Keep the ratio of time taken for inhalation, retention of breath and exhalation as (1:4:2). For starters, do not hold breath, keep the ratio of inhalation-exhalation as (1:2).
- Stage 3 – If we call this one set. Repeat five sets and gradually increase to ten sets.
- Reduces the flow of gall.
- These Breathing Techniques or Pranayamas are designed to allow the free flow of energy in the body and to purify the body’s energy channels called nadis.
- The practice of Pranayama also ensures that every cell in the body receives oxygen and nutrients.
- Calm your brain and reduces body heat.
- Cures heart burn and laziness.
* This pranayama should not be done during winters.
** Do not hold breath initially for 2- 3 months practice only inhalation and exhalation). Do not hold breath at all if you are suffering from heart disease, asthama.
** Exhale through the right nostril slowly, rhythmically.