What Is Chandra Bhedana? Definition and Meaning
Chandra bhedana is a lesser-known pranayama technique, in which you perform a single nostril breath, inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through the right nostril.
Chandra refers to the moon, or the “tha” syllable, which represents a cooling or calm sensation in the body’s energy field. Bhedana means ‘piercing.’ Thus, chandra bedhana is known as the moon-piercing breath.
It is closely related to surya bhedana, which is the sun-piercing breath, and is a parallel technique.
Read more about surya bhedana here: How to Do Surya Bhedana Pranayama – Sun Piercing Breath.
Chandra Bhedana Breath Technique
The technique for practicing chandra bhedana is similar to the technique for surya bhedana, though the roles of each nostril are reversed. In chandra bhedana, you inhale through the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril, while in surya behadna it is the opposite, inhaling through the right and exhaling through the left.
To begin chandra bhedana, sit in a comfortable position and place your hand over your face, with your first two fingers touching your forehead, or third eye center. Alternately, you can bend your index and middle fingers in, so they curve down towards the mouth, without touching your face.
Then, use your thumb and index finger to alternately block your left and right nostrils.
To begin the breath, use your finger to gently press against your right nostril, closing it off, while you inhale through the left nostril.
At the top of the breath, switch your fingers, so you close your left nostril and exhale through the right.
Then, after your exhalation, switch your fingers once more to repeat the cycle, inhaling through the left nostril.
Continue this cycle of breath for several minutes. If you do, you will begin to notice a calming, cooling sensation throughout your mind and body.
Benefits of Chandra Bhedana
Chandra Bhedana is a cooling breath, since the left side of the body is associated with developing an increased sense of calm and coolness. This is why it is known as the moon-piercing breath.
Like all meditation, the health benefits of pranayama are enormous. Consistent practice can help you to achieve a state of internal and external balance in your life, and can also help you to develop improved health, mental agility, and breath control.