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Right Nostril Vitality Breath

Right nostril vitality breath (surya bhedana) is a breathing practice (pranayama) in yoga that produces an energizing affect. Practice whenever you need a boost in mood.

Right nostril vitality breath (surya bhedana) is a yoga breathing practice (pranayama) that produces an energizing affect. Practice whenever you need a boost in mood. 

MECHANISM OF ACTION Right Nostril Vitality Breath (surya bhedana) is a breathing practice in yoga thought to produce an energizing effect by stimulating the left hemisphere of the brain and activating the the sympathetic nervous system.

Cognition registers in the brain on the opposite side of the nostril breathing practice. Right nostril dominance correlates with: a more active state; enhanced verbal performance; increased rate of blinking, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate & body temperature; higher levels of cortisol, testosterone & endorphins; reduced secretion of prolactin.

INDICATIONS & USAGE Practice surya bhedana whenever you need a little boost in energy or mood. Research indicates surya bhedana has shown to be beneficial for individuals with depression.

DOSAGE & ADMINISTRATION Practice up to 10 rounds of surya bhedana PRN (as needed) whenever you need a boost in mood or energy followed a few rounds of alternate nostril breathing (nadi sodhana) to bring you back into balance

CONTRAINDICATIONS Avoid practicing surya bhedana if you are feeling anxious, have high blood pressure or heart disease. Practice alternate nostril breathing (nadi sodhana) instead.


  • If you feel too energized after practicing surya bhedana: practice a few rounds of alternate nostril breathing (nadi sodhana) to bring yourself back into balance.
  • Breathing exercises (pranayama) like surya bhedana have shown to help improve mood & symptoms of depression. This practice an additional tool for your mental health, not a replacement for current treatment. Do not discontinue any of your medications or other treatments without consulting your healthcare provider.

PRACTICE CHILLASANA VIDEO LINK: Stay tuned..coming soon to YouTube. Subscribe to our newsletter to get updates.

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The Principles and Practice of Yoga and Healthcare. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa
Yoga as Medicine. Timothy McCall MD
Yoga for Depression. Amy Weintraub
Yoga Skills for Therapists. Amy Weintraub


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Telles S et al. Blood pressure & Purdue pegboard scores in individuals with hypertension after alternate nostril breathing, breath awareness & no intervention. Med Sci Mon. 2013;19:61–66
Telles S et al. Yoga breathing through a particular nostril  is associated with contralateral event-related potential changes. Int J Yoga. 2012. 5(2):102-7
Raghuraj P et al. Immediate effect of specific nostril manipulating yoga breathing practices on autonomic & respiratory variables. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback. 2008. 33 (2): 65-75
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Werntz, DA et al. Alternating cerebral hemispheric activity and the lateralization of autonomic nervous function. Human Neurobiology. 1983. 2: 39-43.

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