Surya Bhedana: Right nostril breathing to warm up the body

If you live in the northern hemisphere, winters can feel harsh. The low temperatures, short days, and an envelope of darkness can feel depressing. Surya Bhedana is a warming pranayama that can help drive the winter blues away. Unlike Chandra Bhedana Pranayama, this breathing technique activates the left hemisphere of the brain and activates the sympathetic nervous system.

The Sun in ancient Vedic text is referred to as “Surya” and Bheda means breaking through something or piercing. Surya Bhedana is an effective pranayama (breathing technique in yoga) mentioned in both Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Gheranda Samhita. It generates heat and energizes the Pingala Nadi—the Sun energy channel.

How to perform Surya Bheda Pranayama

  • Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine.
  • Preferably meditation pose—Padmasana, Sukhasana, or Swastikasana.
  • Place the hands on the knees.
  • Keep your eyes closed and breathe deeply.
  • Raise your right hand slowly and place the ring finger on the left nostril and close it gently.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril.
  • Open left nostril and close right nostril with thumb.
  • Exhale through left nostril.
  • Repeat 5-7 times.

Benefits of Surya Bhedana Pranayama

  • It reduces phlegm and gas in the body.
  • Surya Bhedana Pranayama improves blood circulation.
  • It helps to lower Kapha Dosha by increasing the body temperature. Too much Kapha in the mind-body can lead to depression.
  • This breathing technique improves digestion and delays aging.
  • It cleanses the sinuses, which is another sign of kapha imbalance (congestion, that is).
  • Breathing selectively through the right nostril stimulates the body and improves physical performance as Pingala Nadi is all about vigor and vitality.
  • Activates the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Aids Weight Loss.
  • Balances Vata Dosha.

A word of caution: Surya Bhedana Pranayama is contraindicated in epilepsy, heart disease, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Avoid it at night as it may lead to difficulty in falling asleep. Before practicing breathing exercises … always consult a yoga instructor and physician to be sure you are a candidate for such a practice.


Want to build Surya 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.


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.