Ten minute evening nourishment and sleep aid

It’s official name is Chandra Bedhi.  I use this practice all the time as part of my evening wind down ritual.  In particular, anytime I feel myself climbing up the walls because somethings happened, or someone has upset me!

If you’re one of those types, like me, susceptible to insomnia, you’ll find that you don’t really have an outer skin and everything just seems to penetrate and through you off.  You can find out if you’re that type by doing my Ayurveda lifestyle tips quiz.

This practice will help repair your strength, calm you down and help you sleep.

According to Ayurveda, and I hasten to add, science, the left nostril is connected to the quiet lunar energy and the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of your nervous system that quietens you down).

By doing focused breathing on the left side, you’ll feel your whole system will become more peaceful.

The exhale is also connected to the parasympathetic nervous system.  A lengthened exhale will calm you down. Have you noticed what happens when you sigh?  The exhale is particularly extended as though you are letting something go…and it somehow feels so nourishing.

In this practice we inhale through the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril making sure the inhale is shorter than the exhale by counting.  By inhaling through the left nostril and extending the exhale, the nervous system will settle and your brain will start to quieten down ready for sleep.

How to practice Moon breathing (Chandra Bedhi)

Make sure you’re finished for the day and you’ve got no more emails to check or stuff to do before bed.

Prepare your space with wonderful scented candles like Neom Organics Tranquillity candle.  Have a warm bath and put your most comfortable clothes on.

Get yourself into a comfortable position, sitting up straight. You can be in a chair, sitting on a cushion on the floor or sitting on your bed. The key is to keep your back straight but not rigid. If you have a cushion just under your hips, that will help keep your back comfortable.

Now prepare your right hand in a special position called Vishnu Mudra, which is used in particular for this breathing technique as below.

Close your right nostril with your thumb, and inhale through the left nostril counting to 5.  Then close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right counting to 10. As you inhale, visualise the moon and imagine you’re drawing in the calming energy.  See the silver light of the moon in your mind’s eye and imagine it’s illuminating your path to a peaceful place. This is one round.

Start by doing eleven rounds of Moon breathing (Chandra Bedhi) and build up to 21 rounds.

You can make both the inhale longer and the exhale even longer with practice.