Chandra Bhedana, or Moon Piercing Breath, is a simple, quietly powerful pranayama. It involves taking mindful breaths through your left nostril.
From a yogic perspective, this relates to Ida Nadi - the side corresponding with the lunar qualities of intuitive, restful, calming presence.
We recently discussed this pranayama with the beautiful gathering at our Cycles of Rest: Yin & Ayurveda for Sleep workshop. This breath can be practiced in bed before sleep, or during the day if you're sensing the need to slow things down. It is one pathway towards settling back into a more intuitive, steady state of being. A place from which we can make decisions and take action more patiently, wisely and kindly.
Sit in a comfortable upright position where the spine is relaxed and tall.
Take a few rounds of full, deep breath towards the belly. Feel the lungs expand , allowing the diaphragm draw downward. As you let the breath flow out, the diaphragm softens , rising gently upward.
If the breaths feel uneven, attend to a steady count of each breath, creating balance between inhale and exhale.
Lightly guide the right nostril closed, with your right hand finger or thumb, and take slow, soothing breaths through the left nostril.
You may wish to imagine a clear white light drawing in and out of your body through the left nostril, cleansing and purifying with each stream of breath. Continue for 10-20 breaths, or longer, watchful of shifts in your energy or thought patterns.
To complete, take a slow deep breath through both nostrils, down to the belly, and a smooth flush of the breath out.
Relax into your natural breath. Observe your state of being, sensing any change in the sense of space or awareness. When you’re ready, gently, open the eyes, and return to your life.
*** If you are practicing at night, you may wish to precede or follow this with 5-10mins in Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall pose), preparing the nervous system and body for a calm, clear sleep.
Did you enjoy this practice?
Let us know your reflections!
To practice more pranayama or meditation in community,
join us for an evening class of Yin & Meditation.
Let’s journey together.