Chandra Bhedana: Left nostril yogic breathing to cool the body
In all likelihood, if you are reading this post, you are familiar with pranayama and yogic techniques to cool the body, especially alternate nostril breathing. In Chandra Bhedana Pranayama, we breathe through the left nostril and exhale via the right nostril. A breathing technique of yoga to cool the body, Chandra Bhedana Pranayama activates the right hemisphere of the brain and helps tap into the parasympathetic system. It’s suited for times of stress, distraction, agitation, and overwhelm.
What does Chandra Bhedana mean?
The word “Chandra” stands for the Moon and the meaning of Bhedana is piercing. Moon is the symbol of coolness. The left nostril is related to the Ida Nadi and is also called Chandra Nadi as it is associated with lunar energy hence this pranayama cools the body. The right nostril is related to the Pingla Nadi and is associated with the masculine solar energy. Chandra Bhedana Pranayama is also called left nostril breathing in English. When we do this pranayama, it cools the body and brings peace of mind.
How to practice Chandra Bhedana Pranayama to cool the body?
- Sit in a comfortable position—I like sitting on my yoga mat in a cross-legged position.
- Keep the spine erect.
- The index and the middle fingers are folded down to touch the base of the thumb in the palm.
- Bring your ring and little finger together.
- Now use your right thumb to shut the right nostril.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your left nostril until your lungs fill to maximum capacity.
- Hold your breath for a few—depends on each person’s capacity (as a beginner, don’t hold your breath).
- Now close your left nostril with the pinky and ring finger.
- Breathe out slowly from the right nostril.
- Exhalation should be longer than inhalation.
- Repeat for about 5-10 minutes.
Benefits of Chandra Bhedana Pranayama
- Effective in lowering Pitta in the body.
- Helpful in reducing heat overall.
- Cools the body.
- Calms the mind
- Helpful for people with high blood pressure.
- Lowers heartburn.
- Regulates the nervous system.
- Activates Ida Nadi, which brings which creates tranquility.
- It quietens the brain.
- Reduces agitation and stress.
- May help with insomnia.
When can you do this pranayama?
Ideally, the Vedic texts recommend doing pranayama on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. While Chandra Bhedana Pranayama can be practiced at any time of the day, it still has to be done on an empty stomach.
Who should not do Chandra Bhedana Pranayama?
People with low blood pressure, asthma, cold, cough, and phlegm should not do this pranayama because it will cool the body. Do not perform Chandra Bhedana Pranayama if you suffer problems related to the respiratory system. It’s recommended to avoid Chandra Bhedana Pranayam in the winter season or on a cool day.
Important points to note when practicing this ancient yogic technique:
- Chandra Bhedana and Surya Bhedana Pranayama are mutually opposite. Therefore, practice only one of them on any given day.
- Beginners may start with 11 rounds and build up their practice to 10 minutes over time.
- You should ease into the practice and increase the rounds and duration very slowly.
- Beginners do not hold your breath while practicing this breathing to cool the body.
- Practitioners should not eat right before and after the practice of this Pranayama.
- Always better to work with an Ayurveda-yoga practitioner and check with your health practitioner if this is a good practice for you.
Want to build Chandra Bhedana practice in your self-care routine and learn about this breathing technique to cool the body? I want to help you with that. Schedule a FREE discovery call here.
NOTE: Before practicing breathing exercises with breath holds, check with your medical doctor to be sure you are a candidate for such a practice.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are looking for advice from a trained yogi and ayurvedic coach, contact me here.