Swara Yoga is a highly complicated, intricate branch of Yoga based on a higher form of ‘pranayama’ or breathing exercises. The term ‘swara’ means musical note or sound in Sanskrit; in Yogic terms ‘swara’ denotes a continuous flow of air through one nostril. It is this practice that takes the practitioner of Swara Yoga closer to bliss.
Conventional ‘pranayama’ consists of mastering breathing by inhaling, retaining and exhaling air. In Swara Yoga the breathing exercises go a couple of steps higher. They touch all parts of your daily activities right from the time when you wake up. This includes eating, bathing, working, socializing and even sleeping.
Those who master Swara Yoga can gain control over anything in their lives — right from making friends and earning more wealth to gaining knowledge and achieving sound mental, physical and spiritual well-being. However, there is no scientific proof of this. To most, it is still a belief.
There are three types of ‘swaras — the Left Swara (Ida Nadi), the Right Swara (Pingala Nadi) and Sushumna or third Swara. All the ‘swaras’ are influenced by the cycles of the moon.
Of these, the Left ‘swara’ is characterized as being the female energy (moon), which is auspicious, smooth and virtuous. Basically, the Left ‘swara’ is the breath taken in from the left nostril, which is situated on the left side of the spinal cord, which in turn is connected to the right hemisphere of the brain.
The Right ‘swara’ is characterized as the male energy (sun), which is rough and non-virtuous. It is said that tasks such as battles, sensual pleasures and extreme actions should be performed during the Right ‘swara’ period — 15 days from the next day of full moon to no moon.
The Third ‘swara’ – Sushumna- is located at the center of the spinal cord, and is said to be active when the Left and Right ‘swara’ flow together, that is, when the body and mind are in a concentrated state of meditation.
All three ‘swaras’ are very powerful and influential in their own ways, and gaining control over them is difficult. Those who are able to do so can improve their overall health and prolong their life span.