Suryabhedana pranayama


  • Surya means the Sun. Bhedana is derived from the root Bhid  that implies to break or to pierce.

In this Pranayama, one inhales through the right nostril. The Prana or the vital force passes through the Pingala or Surya Nadi. Perform Kumbhaka (retention of breath) and then exhale out through the left nostril, which is the passage of Ida Nadi.

I. Starting position (Sthiti): Padmasana, Siddhasana or Sukhasana

II. Practice

  • Keep the back erect and rigid. Lower the head to the trunk . Place the chin in the notch between the collar bones just above the breast bone (Jalandhara Bandha).
  • Straighten the left arm. Place the back of the left wrist on the left knee. Perform Jnana Mudra with left hand. Bend the right arm at the elbow. Bend the index and middle fingers towards the palm. Keep them passive. Bring the ring finger and little fingers towards the thumb.
  • Bring the right thumb on the right side of the nose just below the nasal bone, the ring and little fingers on the left side of the nose just below the nasal bone. It should be placed just above the curve of the fatty tissue of the nostrils above the upper jaw.
  • Block the left side of the nose completely with the ring and the little finger.
  • Press the fatty tissue on the right side with the right thumb so as to make the outer edge of the right nostril parallel to the lower edge of the cartilage of the septum.
  • Bend the right thumb at the top joint. The tip of the thumb is rested at a right angle to the septum.
  • Inhale slowly  and deeply now, controlling the opening of the right nostril with the tip of the thumb nearer the nail. Fill the lungs up to the brim (Puraka).
  • Then close the right nostril so that both are now blocked.
  • Retain the breath for approximately 5 seconds (Antara Kumbhaka) while practising Mula Bandha.
  • While keeping the right nostril completely blocked, open the left nostril partially and exhale through it slowly and deeply (Rechaka). While breathing out regulate the rhythmic flow of air from the left nostril by adjusting pressure with the ring  and the little fingers, so that the outer edge of the left nostril is kept parallel to the septum. The pressure should be exerted from the inner side of the tips of the fingers.
  • This is one complete cycle of Surya Bhedi Pranayama. Continue these cycles for 5-10 minutes, as per capacity.
  • All the inhalations in Surya Bhedana are from the right nostril and exhalations from the left nostril.
  • The passage of air is felt throughout the process at the tips of the fingers, the thumbs and in the nasal membranes where pressure is applied. It makes a sound that should be maintained constant throughout by applying varying pressure on the nostrils.
  • There should not be any strain and the skin on the forehead, eyes, temples, eyebrows should remain passive.
  • Inhalation and exhalation should last for the same length of time.
  • Maintain an even and slow rhythm throughout.
  • Lie down in Shavasana after completing Pranayama.


  • It is known to increase digestive power, soothe nerves and clean the sinuses.