What is moon breathing? The phrase itself sounds beautiful and serene. Picture a night sky with bright stars and a full moon. Calming, right? While moon breathing has nothing to do with the environment, it does help your sleep. Use the technique to get your moon-time on and wake up refreshed in the morning.
The Process of Moon Breathing
Moon breathing is an ancient practice, known by yogis as Chandra Bhedana. It’s said to slow your thoughts, help center your mind, promote relaxation, and lead you to better sleep. It’s also believed to help cool your body, which has been shown to aid the sleep process.
Moon Breathing 101
Moon breathing, like all other forms of breathwork, takes practice. It’s a simple process, but one you have to get used to. It can seem foreign and unnatural at first, but once you master the practice, you may never go another night without it.
Moon breathing is the practice of inhaling and exhaling through just one nostril at a time. Ancient yogis believe that this affects the left side of your body, which is responsible for communicating with your nervous system. When you slow your nervous system, your body slowly relaxes, and you drift into a state of peace.
How to Practice Moon Breathing
Moon breathing is surprisingly simple, and you can do it anywhere at any time. If you’re not trying to fall asleep, but need to take a minute to relax, moon breathing can help. You can practice moon breathing from either a seated or supine position, whichever is most comfortable for you.
Follow these steps and be on your way to moon breathing mastery:
- Close your eyes and release any tension you’re holding in your face, brow line, neck, and shoulders. Unclench your jaw. You’ll notice a more profound sense of relaxation immediately.
- Use your right thumb to press your right nostril closed gently.
- Place the pointer and middle fingers of your right hand in your palm. Extend your ring finger and pinky outwards. Do what feels natural; the process shouldn’t cause pain in your hand.
- Take a deep breath into your left nostril and then close it with your right pinky.
- Close your left nostril with your right pinky, and release your right thumb from your right nostril.
- Exhale slowly through your right nostril.
- Repeat the process for several minutes, focusing on your breath until you feel your tension melt away, and your thoughts start to slow.
Why it Works
As you slow your breath, calm your thoughts, and release physical tension in your body, your mind will be prepared for sleep. As the practice is believed to cool your body too, you will become more physically prepared for rest as well.
Most importantly, moon breathing allows you to be present in the space you are in and clears the stress and business of the day from your mind. You’ll be able to focus on rest, rejuvenation, and relaxation, enabling better sleep.
A Note from GR8NESS
Moon breathing is not recommended if you have hypertension or heart problems. Talk to your doctor to see if moon breathing is right for you.