Svara yoga is a tantric secret science that has existed for thousands of years. Svara is the sound of one’s breath in Sanskrit. Yoga means union. Therefore, a Svara yoga practitioner seeks union through control of one’s breathing. Although we think of pranayama when we reflect on techniques associated with breathing, Svara yoga encompasses much more. Svara yoga analyzes the vibrations and different rhythms of the breath and the effects they have on our body, mind, and emotions. The Svara yoga practitioner learns that the breathing pattern can be altered at will to harmonize and balance his life. The practitioner learns the differences between breathing through the left (lunar side) and right (solar side) nostril.
Svara yoga also explains that there must be a balance between breathing and the five elements (tattvas), the phases or positions of the sun, the moon, and the celestial bodies, and the seasons and time of day. This relationship affects the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental condition of each person.
The upper brain has two parts, the right and left hemispheres. Scientific studies show the specialization of functions in each hemisphere. The left brain is associated with speed, logic, analysis, and mathematics, while the right brain is associated with intuition, mysticism, art, emotions, and the non-verbal.
The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, while the left hemisphere controls the right side. Thus, breathing through the left side, the lunar and feminine breathing, affects the right brain, and breathing through the right nostril, solar and masculine, affects the left side of the brain.
Shiva Svarodaya, one of the tantric texts of Svara yoga indicates which nostril should be dominating throughout the various activities of the day and night. For example, to be more balanced, it is recommended that the solar nostril be dominant at night and the lunar nostril be dominant during the day. I have found that during nights that I can’t sleep, lying down on my right side opens my left nostril, inducing rest and sleeping. Although it is recommended to have the solar side dominant in the evening, there are nights that the individual needs more lunar energy to sleep. Balancing a system as complicated as a human being is not a matter of 50/50.
Energetic activities such as bicycling, practicing Hatha yoga, and eating are recommended with the solar energy dominant, while studying for an exam, drinking hot liquids, or starting a new project, are recommended with the lunar energy dominant. You should have your left nostril dominant when you are listening to someone, or change it to solar when you have to convince your boss to give you a raise.
We are more active, outgoing, and physical when the solar Svara dominates and more receptive, introverted, and imaginative when lunar Svara is dominant.
During the full moon, people are more influential. Most Tantric practitioners don’t have sex during the full moon, believing that the energies are too wild and out of control.
Moonless nights are the best time to make love at night, as those nights have more solar energy. Another good time to make love is three days before the full moon when the feminine energies of the moon are strong but not out of control. That night is considered to have the most beautiful expression of the feminine energies. It’s called the “Sundri” beautiful night. Of course, making love during the day is the best time, as it is full of solar energy.
Examine your breathing and you will notice that the dominant nostril changes every 20 or 30 minutes. There are different techniques in Svara yoga to change the flow of solar to lunar and from lunar to solar, and also to balance the breathing during meditation. Achieving balance and breathing through sushumna nadi rather than from ida (lunar side – left) or pingala (solar side – right) is the goal of the practitioner to finally obtain liberation. Meanwhile, it is useful to know that the way you’re breathing at any given moment affects your wellbeing.
Go to Chakras for an explanation of ida, pingala and sushumna.