In this post we discuss the technique and benefits of murcha pranayama.
Continue reading or watch the video below to learn how to do murcha pranayama, or click here to see our full list of pranayama techniques.
Murcha Pranayama – Definition and Meaning
Murcha Pranayama is a meditative breath technique in which you hold your breath in for several seconds, with the aim of bringing energy into your third-eye chakra and connect with your intuition.
Murcha means “fainting” or “swooning,” while pranayama refers to the control of the breath and life-force energy in the body. Thus, murcha pranayama is often translated as the swooning breath, or the fainting breath.
As it’s name implies, this breath can cause lightheadedness, and should be practice with caution. If you feel you are about to faint, come out of the technique immediately and sit or lie down quietly for a few moments.
How To Do The Murcha Breath Technique in 9 Steps
To begin working with murcha pranayama, follow these simple steps.
- Sit comfortably in a meditative position. It is best to sit on the floor or on a cushion with your legs crosses, but you can also sit upright in a chair if that is more comfortable. Make sure the spine is straight.
- Bring your attention to your 6th Chakra, known as the ajna chakra or third-eye center, located in the center of your forehead. You may wish to envision a ball of light or a sensation of lightness moving into your forehead, between your eyes.
- Take a few moments before you begin your pranayama practice to breathe easily and naturally. Use this time to center your awareness, and tune into the feeling of your intuitive mind, while beginning to observe any conscious thoughts that pass through.
- To begin the murcha technique, Inhale a long, steady breath through the mouth, continuing to inhale for at least 5 seconds.
- At the top of your breath, form Jalandhara Bandha, which is a chin lock. While holding the breath in, move your chin down slightly to angle towards your chest. Do not force your chin all the way to your chest, but move it slightly lower, about 1-2 inches, so that your neck angles down slightly as well.
- Hold this position for at least 5 seconds.
- Release the bandha by lifting your head and chin to its normal position, with a straight neck.
- Exhale slowly and fully.
- Repeat the process for as long as is comfortable for you.
When you are first beginning this practice, take your time. Be patient with yourself, and release the bandha (and/or the entire pranayama) if you begin to feel uncomfortable. At no point should you be forcing your breath, or trying to deliberately hold the breath in when your body yearns to breathe. Only hold the inhalation for as long as is reasonably comfortable for you.
With time, you can gradually lengthen the practice to create a deeper, more intense experience, and bring more lightness into the third-eye center.
Related Post: Learn How To Balance the 7 Chakra Energy Centers.
Video Tutorial: Murcha (Moorcha) Pranayama
Watch this video tutorial for an example of how to do moorcha pranayama.
Health Benefits of Murcha Pranayama
Murcha pranayama has many health benefits, including the cleansing of the mind and body.
This technique has been known to help clear away negative thought patterns, allowing the practitioner to think more clearly, and connect more easily with his intuitive nature.
The cleansing of the mind in this way also leads to temporary states of euphoria during the meditation, with prolonged feelings of happiness and well-being that continue after the meditation.
From a physical perspective, murcha pranayama is thought to help release excess fats from the body. It is also a powerful remedy for reducing headaches and minimizing muscle pain throughout the body.
Other Pranayama Techniques you may be interested in: