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A brief on the Swara Yoga shastra

Shakti asks Lord Shiva:

  • Q. 1. Which knowledge bestows perfection?

  • Q. 2. How was the universe created?

Q.3. How does the universe change and dissolve?

Q.4. Who determines the universe?

Lord Shiva responds: Creation takes place due to tattwas (subtle essences), is sustained by them and finally dissolves into them. Tattwas are the origin of the universe. There is one birthless, formless supreme existence from which evolves akasha (ether), from which comes vayu (air). From vayu originates tejas (fire), from tejas apas (water) and from apas prithvi (earth). These five elements are spread throughout the world. Creation is formed and sustained from them and again merges back into them as the subtle process of creation continues ceaselessly.

What is swara? The science of Swara is the secret of all secrets and reveals the essence of all benefits. This science is the crown jewel of all knowledge. It is the subtlest of all subtle knowledge. It is easy to understand and based on truth. To the atheist it is a wonder, to the theist, the base (verse 11, Shiv Swara Udaya)

Who may have the knowledge? It should be given to one who is peaceful, pure, well behaved, dedicated to the guru, determined in mind, grateful (verse 13) The glory of Swara The power of swara overcomes enemies and joins friends, obtains wealth and glory (verse 22)

O Lady of beautiful face, all sacred books, moral stories, learning and Upinashads are not beyond the knowledge of swara (verse 25)

If you have knowledge of Swara, it is not necessary to consult the date, stars, days, planets, gods, conjunctions of stars or disorders of humours, phlegm, bile, wind, before starting any project (verse 29)

The teaching should not be revealed simply to answer someone's questions, but by one's own self, by one's own intellect in one's own body (verse 28)


Among subjects that the texts on Swara discuss are the placement, location and function of the nadis, Yoga sadhana, description of auspicious/ inauspicious nadis according to the day, rules of the five tattwas, Zodiac signs according to the day and night, the appropriate direction of travel, reverse situations, fulfilment of desires, auspicious acts during the flow of ida nadi, successful acts during the flow of Pingala nadi, characteristics of sushumna nadi, eight-fold division of elements or breath, predictions and divination, places of the five elements in the body, how to get gain and prosperity, prediction and indicators of death, attainment of psychic powers through the knowledge of swara, getting a divine child, super-psychic Astrology and Vastu connected with nadis and chakras and overcoming illnesses.

Swara yoga is about the effect of nasal breathing on our body and mind through right nostril, (Pingala Nadi) left nostril, Ida Nadi) both nostril (Shushumna Nadi). The different pattern and nature of breath indicates the active elements (Panch

Mahabhutas ie. Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether) in our psychic body . In Swara yoga, practices are connected with the flow of nadi in a systematic pattern with moon phases, Sun and other planets. Elements are connected with different planets in different nasal flow. When a planet affect earth's gravitational field and electromagnetic field they will alter human energy patterns in the psychic body on feedback basis. This can be experienced as change in the flow of our breath. Swara yoga identifies this as different elements. In order to balance and harmonize these subtle forces, Swara yoga gives the easy and effective tool - The time and cycle of breath. The cycle of breath is based the luner tithis (Moon's position at different times).

Tithi is considered as the first phase or portion (Kala) of the 16 phases of the Moon. The 15 days, commencing from Amavasya (the last day of the dark half of a lunar month) to Purnima (Full moon), are called the Tithis of the Shukla-Paksha or Waxing Moon (brighter phase) when moon becomes fuller and the days commencing from Purnima to Amavasya are called Krishna Paksha waning Moon (darker phase) when moon becomes darker.

In Indian Astrology, the calculation of the Tithis starts from Pratipada (The first day in each half of the lunar month) of the Shukla-Paksha. They are:

  • 1. 1.


  • 2. 2.


  • 3. 3.


  • 4. 4.


  • 5. 5.


  • 6. 6.


  • 7. 7.


  • 8. 8.


  • 9. 9.


  • 10. 10. Dashami.

  • 11. 11. Ekadasi.

  • 12. 12. Dwadashi.

  • 13. 13. Trayodashi.

  • 14. 14. Chaturdashi.

  • 15. 15. Purnima / 30. Amawasya.

Similarly, in the Krishna-Paksha, starting from Pratipada till Chaturdashi, all the dates

are same; the only difference being the fifteenth day which is Amavasya (No Moon or

Moonless night) For tithi calculation for any particular day any location

In Swara cycle right nostril becomes active during Krishna paksha on tithes Pratipada, (1) Dwitiya, ,(2) Tritiya, ,(3) Saptami, ,(7) Ashtami, ,(8) Navami, ,(9) Trayodashi, ,(13) Chaturdashi, ,(14) Amavasya,(15). There after Ida and Pingala function alternately in 1- 2 hour cycle throughout the day until, at sunset left nostril begins to function on the specified days. On days 4 , 6, 10, 12, of dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) the left nostril flows at sunrise and right nostril at sunset. During shukla paksha we see the reverse. At sunrise of the first 3 days, left nostril flows and during sunset right and same alternate manner it goes on up to full moon. See the chart below.

Swara days chart is a fixed chart that show the nostril dominance on particular phases of the moon known as tithis. Every day there will be a tithi and according to that you have to change the flow of your breath. For ex. 5th October 04 the tithi was saptami and during sunrise right nostril is (Pingala swara) recommended in chart for flow and the same day left nostril (Ida swara) should flow during sun-set. For Indian panchanga calculation according to date click here and for sunrise and sunset click here any where in the world. When you will calculate the tithi other things of panchanga will come because panchanga means five angas of indian lunar calendar.For swara yoga sadhana (practices) first three are required ie. weekdays, tithi and naxhatra. But for beginners first one month they should observe the breath to know the pattern and imbalances. And form next month they should start manipulation or change in the flow of breath according to dates. How to change the breath form one nostril to other nostril

Method to Change the Swara

If anyone who want to chang the flow of breath from active swara (breath) to inactive swara use these three most effective and easy method.

1. Yoga Danda Method

Using yoga danda under the armpit of your active side and put your weight over the danda. Observe your breath flow and you will find within 5 to 10 minute your breath flow will change into soonya (non-active side). For ex. if your right nostril is active put yoga danda under your right armpit, breath flow will change in to left.

Swara days chart is a fixed chart that show the nostril dominance on particular phases of

2. Lying Method

Lying on the same side which swara is active (see figure) your close nostril will open within 5 to 10 minute . For ex. If your left nostril is active and you want to change into right, lie down on your left side keep right side upward, right will become active in given time. If your breath is not changing even after more then 20 minutes that means your breath

has just shifted from other side



it is not then it indicate imbalance sate of energy flow that may cause chronic

mental or physical illness in fucture or even death.

mental or physical illness in fucture or even death. 3. Pressure on the arm pit by

3. Pressure on the arm pit by hand

Put pressure under the armpit of the active side with opposite hand. For ex. if your right nostril is active and you want to change into left. Put pressure by your left hand on your right armpit by the thumb and other four finger. Swara will change within 20 minutes

24 Hour Swara Cycle

Birth Nadi & Element calculator

Birth Nadi and elements are very important in our life. They are connected with our deep psychic. Combination of Nadi and elements creates certain psycho-physiological changes in our self, that we do not understand unless we practices yoga like swara yoga. Because of lack of knowledge about Nadi and elements we does not know, when what to do and get maximum benefit of the active nandi and element. The active Nadi and the element during our birth time makes archetype of whole life and our personality. By the knowledge of our active Nadi and element just after our birth when we take first breath we can understand our strength weakness and cause of problems and how to handle them. Use this calculator to find out your birth element and nadi.

If you are born in India you need not change the latitude, longitude or time zone. Just type your date of birth and the time of birth. You will instantly know the degrees, minutes, seconds, the Nadi and the Element in which the Moon was placed at the time of your birth. Your Nadi and your Elements are important points for your swara

yoga sadhana

Even while performing any auspicious work in your life your nadi and element will be favorable if

.. you practice how to change the Nadi and Tattwa or element. Using the knowledge of swara yoga you can gain

success in all sphere of your life.

Morning Sadhana

There are some important applications of swara yoga, which can be used in daily life to save the vital force and to avoid negative influences in daily life. These are: 1. When you get up early in the morning, check your nostrils for the flow of breath. Then touch that side of your face with the hand corresponding to which nostril is active.

For example, if the right nostril flow is stronger, then touch the right side of the face with your right palm. Keep your eyes closed, if the right nostril is active at that time, then face north or east. If the left nostril is active, then face south

or west. Then in the right nostril visualise sun, and feel that ray which is coming from the sun is entering through your heart. Feel the presence of cosmic energy. If the active nostril is left, then visualise same process in the full moon and that moonlight is coming and entering in your heart. Then keep your both palms together in awahani mudra and open your eyes and look first at the root of the index finger of the side which corresponds to the active nostril. Then, visualize the different deities and their powers resting in your palms, and imagine that their cosmic energies are coming into you and making your internal energies positive and favourable.

Repeate the mantra

Karagre vasate lakshmi, karamadhye saraswati,

Karamooletu govindam, prabhate karadarshanam

Before putting the feet on the ground: chant this mantra

Samudra vasane devi, parvatashtal mandale

Vishnu patni namastubhyam, padasparsham kshamasvame

visualize three eyes devi as mother earth in yellow clothes or yellow squire Put that foot on the ground first, which corresponds to the nostril which is flowing - if right then right foot first.

  • 2. Go to the toilet when right nostril is flowing and urinate when the left nostril is flowing.

  • 3. Eat meals when right nostril is flowing and drink water when the left is flowing.

  • 4. Go to bed at night when right nostril is flowing and rise when the left is flowing.

  • 5. When you leave home, step out with the foot corresponding to the nostril in which the breath is flowing.

  • 6. Start a long journey when left nostril is flowing and enter other houses when the right is flowing.

  • 7. During the day, left nostril dominance is auspicious and at night right nostril flow is favourable for good health and


  • 8. Public speaking, studying and learning are favourable when the right nostril flows.

  • 9. Meditation, mantra chanting, starting any auspicious work such as construction, entering a new house, opening a

new business etc. are favourable in left nostril dominance. Avoid all external material work in shusumna. (Both nostril

dominance) all work done in shusumna becomes fruitless.

Books on Swara Yoga

All the well known spiritual books say something about the importance of the breath and


There are two that are the most important on this topic: Swara Chintamani and Shiva Swarodhaya.

SWARA CHINTAMANI (the jewel of consciousness is Swara)

Author: Lord Shiva (a dialogue between Shiva and Parvati)

Dated: Written originally in Tamil and found in the Adyar Library in the last century

This book is very systematically divided into 24 chapters in which Parvati, wife of Shiva asks about all aspects of life. She starts with a prayer and obescience to the Lord (Iswara) and then asks about all manner of things to which Lord Shiva answers that everything depends on swara; that "If breath is going out and coming in, there is life and if the movement stops, the body perishes." She continues asking about the nature of the universe, the origin of the embryo, the origin of swara, and all sorts of details about swara, knowledge of the tattwas, on food, sickness, war, dreams and death and many other topics. Shiva answers Parvati's questions patiently and fully and goes on the tell her all about swara saying that "for all beings, breath is only the base." These include techniques for managing the planetary effects and the moon's phases and avoiding the negative influence of the planets and astral forces, through altering the breath flow or swara in the nostrils, manipulating and controlling the breath or the breath flow through each nostril. We can alter our destiny by being more auspicious, and realising, and eventually attaining the harmainy and the Highest Consciosness.


Author: Lord Shiva dialoguing with Parvati his consort.

Origin: Preserved in Guru Disciple tradition from the begening of the universe. Written in Sanskrit book-form, latter in between 500.BCto 300. AD with integration of all practices for the different purpose exoteric as well as esoteric.

Shakti as Parvati asks questions about the nature of the universe, about life , about the nature of suffering, death, war, predictions and the planetary effects and their negative and positive influences, how to live a successful married life, how to invoke a divine soul to be born, how to understand everything and realise the Higher Consciousness. Lord Shiva answers that by observing and manipulating the breath, all aspects of the universe from the manifest to the unmanifest as well as our own lives, can be understood and enhanced through the medium of the breath. The book also includes simple techniques for removing obstacles and negativity from our lives to improving it.

Some other texts on Swara Yoga are Gyan Swaroday and Indra Swaroday. Also

swara yoga is explained in Rrdrayamala tantra, in ekadasha patala (11th chapter).

Translation in hindi and english are published from different publication.

Few selected available books are:

Swara Yoga Translated by Swami Muktibodhananda, Publisher Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, India.

Swara Chintamani, translated by S. Kanan Publisher: Sagar publication, Delhi , India.

Breath Mind and Consciousness By Harish Johari.

Swara Yoga By Swami Sivananda, Publisher Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India.

What is Swara Yoga?

Swara is Sanskrit word, meaning sound or note. It is also a continuous flow of air through

one nostril. Yoga means union, so Swara yoga is a science which is realization of cosmic consciousness through control and manipulation of breath.

Swara Yoga is science which is a complete study, observations, control and manipulation of breath or Swara. Pranayama is only related to control of breath in various ways. In swara yoga, you will find association of breath in relation to activities of sun, moon, various seasons, physical and mental conditions of individuals etc. So Swara Yoga is more comprehensive in theory and practices related to breath.

Applications of Swara Yoga as per Sanskrti Text "Shiva Swarodaya" -

Swara yoga is useful while initiating any action starting from waking up in the morning, having bath, eating, involving in different types of works, mental activities, physical activities etc. One can easily make out that Swara Yoga touches all parts of human life.

Few applications of Swara Yoga-

o Fighting wars, Overcome enemy, winning friends o Gaining wealth, prosperity, popularity o Winning favor of king, o Knowledge of past, present & future o Achieving sound mental, physical & spiritual health o Swara in Daily Life

- Journey, eating, exercising, working, excreting, sleeping - For Yoga & Meditation

3 Types of Swara

There are 3 main swara, Ida Nadi or Left Swara (Nadi is flow of pranic energy in body),

Pingala Nadi or Right Swara and Sushumna or third Swara.

o Ida / Lunar / Left Swara - The breath through left nostril o Ida Nadi located on the Left side of spinal Cord o It represents Moon / female Shakti (Energy) principle o Left Swara is associated with Mental Activities, Parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation) o Connection to right hemisphere of brain o Left Swara is considered to be Auspicious, smooth & virtuous o Bright fortnight (15 days starting from next day of no moon to full moon day) o Fruitful results when Left Swara is active on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday. o Zodiac signs during Lunar flow- tauras, cancer, virgo, scorpio, capricorn, pisces

o Pingala / Solar or Right Swara - The breath through right nostril o Pingala Nadi located on the right side of spinal Cord o It represents Sun / Male Shiva(consciousness) principle o Right Swara is associated with Pranic activities (Physical activities), Sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response / stress response) o Connection to left hemisphere of brain o Right Swara is considered as Rough, non virtuous o Dominance during dark fortnight (15 days from the next day of full moon to no moon) o Right Swara gives fruitful results Sunday, Saturday, Tuesday o Zodiac signs during Solar flow - aries, aquarious, libra, gemini, sagittarius

Acts to be performed when Left Swara is Active

o All auspicious acts o Stable, permanent actions o Purchasing jewelry, clothes, journey etc o Construction of house o Offices, temple etc. o Marriages, religious rights, peaceful work o Treating incurable diseases

Acts to be performed when Right Swara is Active

o Extreme tantra techniques. o Meanest & worst actions o Drinking wine, destroying enemies o Sensual pleasures o Work requiring extreme dynamism, o physical work o Solving Mathematics, o Eating, gratifying senses, captivating women

Third Swara "Sushumna"

o Located Center of the spinal cord o It represents "Shiva" (pure consciousness) in the state of "So-Ham" o Sushumna is said to be active when Left & right swara flows together o No worldly action recommended, work gives no result o It indicates non attachment to the mundane things o While third Swara is active Meditation recommended

Rhythms of Swara

o Each Swara (Left and Right ) Alternates in 60 Min - One Swara is active for about 1 to 1.5 hours depends on individual, and after that 2nd Swara starts flowing, this cycle continues during day and night. o These Swara Activities are related to Moon phases o Sunrise timing is crucial - Generally for healthy people the Swara should change at the time of sunrise and sunset.

o Lunar / left Swara o Active during 1st 3 days of Bright fortnight at sunrise o Right / solar Swara o Active during 1st 3 days of dark fortnight at sunrise

Readjusting the Swara

o Close active nostril with finger or cotton wool o Inhale through active nostril & exhale through inactive

o Apply pressure to the armpit of the active nostril o Lie down on the same side of the active nostril o Cold bath or hot water changes the Swara o Food consumed changes Swara

  • - Chilli, ginger - Solar / right Swara

  • - Yogurt, bananas - left / lunar Swara

Swara Indication - Physical & Mental activities

Common Cold - common cold indicates dominating Left Swara, which indicates cold. One can change this dominating left swara to right swara and cure the common cold or other diseases. Acidity - if Right swara dominates, it indicates the person will suffer from either acidity or fever. Right Swara is Hot in nature.

Swara Yoga is still unexplored area and lot of scientific research needs to be carried out before all facts and exact relation of Swara and physical and mental activities is known.

Hari Om