Surya Bhedi Breathing Exercise

Breathing is the most important activity of the body. It is associated with every single cell and every one of its functions, but most importantly, it is closely connected to the way the brain works.

In general terms "pranayama" is the practice of breath regulation. Although this interpretation can be considered correct when we look at the practices involved, it does not truly convey it’s real meaning. The word "pranayama" can be divided into two parts: "prana" which in Sanskrit signifies "life force" or "vital energy" and "Yama" which signifies "control". "Yama" however is not the real word that forms "pranayama"; the correct word is "Ayama" which has a more profound meaning. "Ayama" signifies "extension" or "expansion".

There are four important aspects of breathing used during the practice of pranayama:

  1. Pooraka: inhalation
  2. Rechaka: exhalation
  3. Antar Kumbhaka: Retention of internal breath
  4. Bahir Kumbhaka: Retention of external breath.

The various practices of pranayama involve different techniques using these four aspects of breathing.

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