Swara Yoga

From the time you open your eyes until you finally go to sleep, you unknowingly involve Swara yoga in your day-to-day activities such as eating, working, hanging out with friends, and sleeping.

Swara Yoga

Swara yoga is a form of yoga that helps you achieve a level of cosmic consciousness by manipulating and controlling your breath.

While yoga means ‘union’, Swara in Sanskrit can be translated to English to mean sound or musical note. The term Swara also relates to the constant flow of air in and out of your nostrils.

An important aspect of Swara yoga is the awareness of your dominant nostril in relation to your environment. This awareness can help you manipulate the results to your liking and promote positivity with every move you make.

Different Types of Swara Yoga

There are three types of Swara yoga that include different types of breathing techniques. ‘Nadi’ is the flow of pranic energy in your body.

1. Ida Nadi or Left Swara

  • Located on the left side of your spinal cord
  • Consists of breathing through the left nostril
  • Represents the moon or female energy (Shakti)
  • Associated with the nervous system and activities of the mind

2. Pingala Nadi or Right Swara

  • Located on the right side of your spinal cord
  • Consists of breathing through the right nostril
  • Represents the sun or male consciousness (Shiva)
  • Associated with the nervous system, stress, and physical activities

3. Sushumna Nadi or Third Swara

  • Located in the center of your spinal cord
  • Represents Shiva in the state of ‘Soham’
  • Active when your left and right Swara flow together
  • Meditation is recommended when the third Swara is active

Swara Yoga Activities Associated with Each Nostril

Activities associated with the left nostril include:

  • Marriage
  • Birth of a baby
  • Playing music
  • Meditating
  • Selfless service such as volunteering or giving to charity
  • Friendship
  • Gardening

Activities associated with the right nostril include:

  • Writing
  • Work ethic
  • Eating and drinking (non-alcoholic beverages)
  • Debating
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Martial arts

Healing through Swara Yoga

According to the principles of Swara yoga, one should alternate or change the dominant nostril when noticing signs of physical or mental disturbance. This will help to change the active side of your body and will help to reestablish balance in the mind and body.

Using Swara yoga for healing:

  • In case of fever, use a cotton ball to plug the operating nostril and maintain this technique until your temperature gets back to normal.
  • For chronic indigestion, it is recommended to eat only when your right nostril is dominant.
  • If you are feeling extreme stress or have been working too hard, lie down on your right side and breathe through your left nostril for about 30 minutes.
  • To help you relieve symptoms of mental illness, breathe through your congested nostril for a period of time.

Benefits of Swara Yoga

Swara yoga is extremely beneficial for its healing properties and is an effective practice to create favorable conditions in your life.

Added benefits of Swara yoga include the following:

  • Awareness of subtle changes in the mind and body
  • Improved quality of life
  • Promote balance in the body and mind
  • Let go of all the negative energy that surrounds you and focus on the positives instead
  • Improved self-awareness

Quick FAQs

1. How can you practice Swara yoga?

Swara yoga is practiced using breathing techniques and activities associated with breathing in and out of the nostrils.

Updated by Siya Rajan on 05/13/2018

The content of this Website is for is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.


Sharma, I. (2016, September 01). Know all about Swara Yoga: The ancient science of breathing. Retrieved from https://www.speakingtree.in/allslides/know-all-about-swara-yoga-the-ancient-science-of-breathing/ida-nadi-or-left-swara

Introduction to Swara Yoga. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.swarayoga.org/