Chandra Bheda Pranayama

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.

Instructions:

  • Find a comfortable seated position. Gently exhale all of the air from the lungs.
  • Stage 1 - Breathe in though the left nostril and out through the right. Allow the exhalation to be longer than the inhalation. 
  • Stage 2 - Breathe in though the left nostril. (Puraka). Hold after inhalation. The first few times hold for a few seconds. Gradually increase the duration of the time after inhalation. (Antara Kumbhaka). Exhale out through the right nostril. Allow the exhalation to be longer than the inhalation. 
  • Stage 3 - Breathe in though the left nostril. (Puraka). Exhale out through the right nostril. (Rechaka). Hold after exhalation for a few seconds. Gradually increase this time reflecting upon how the breath and nervous system responds. (bahya Kumbhaka)
  • Stage 4 - Breathe in though the left nostril. (Puraka). Hold after inhalation. (Antara Kumbhaka). Exhale out through the right nostril. (Rechaka). Hold after exhalation for a few seconds. (bahya Kumbhaka)
  • Stage 5 - Breathe in though the left nostril. (Puraka). Hold after inhalation. (Antara Kumbhaka). Exhale out through the right nostril partially blocked so that it lengthens. (Rechaka). Hold after exhalation for a few seconds. (bahya Kumbhaka). This can be practiced without the retention Kumbhaka or it can be slowly introduced in a safe progressive way. 
  • Stage 6 - Breathe in though the partially blocked left nostril. (Puraka). Hold after inhalation. (Antara Kumbhaka). Exhale out through the right nostril partially blocked. (Rechaka). Hold after exhalation for a few seconds. (bahya Kumbhaka). This can be practiced without the retention Kumbhaka or it can be slowly introduced in a safe progressive way.

Contra-indications:

  • Chandra Bhedana Pranayama should not be done in winter.
  • Chandra Bhedana Pranayama should be done only in summer.
  • Do not practice Chandra Bhedana Pranayama on the same day as Surya Bhedana.
  • You should seek guidance of a Yoga teacher before practicing Chandra Bhedana Pranayama if you are introverted in nature, seriously mentally disturbed; have sluggish digestion or excess mucus.

Benefits of Chandra Bhedana Pranayama:

  • With the practice of Chandra Bhedana Pranayama the mind becomes steady.
  • Chandra Bhedana Pranayama is beneficial in conditions like mental tension, agitation, high blood pressure, heart disease etc.
  • Chandra Bhedana Pranayama is also useful for meditation.
  • The practice of Chandra Bhedana Pranayama reduces the flow of bile and as such the body heat is reduced.
  • Chandra Bhedana Pranayama helps cure heart burn and laziness.

 

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