If you are looking for a simple yet powerful way to boost your physical and mental health, try Anuloma Viloma, the ancient yogic breathing exercise.
In this article, we will explain what Anuloma Viloma is, how to practice it, and what benefits it can offer you.
Quick Reference – How to Do Anuloma Viloma
- Take your right hand and fold your index and middle fingers toward your palm (see post picture for a visual).
- Use your thumb to close the right nostril and inhale through the left nostril. Close the left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right nostril.
- Inhale through your right nostril. Close the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril.
You’ve completed one round. Continue for 5-10 minutes.
What is Anuloma Viloma?
Anuloma Viloma, also known as alternate nostril breathing is a form of pranayama, or breath control, in yoga.
Pranayama is the practice of yogic breath regulation, it enhances the flow of prana (life force energy) through the body.
Prana flows through subtle channels called nadis, which connect the different parts of the body and mind.
It balances the nadis…
According to yogic philosophy, there are three main nadis…
Ida is associated with the left nostril, the moon, and the feminine energy.
Pingala is associated with the right nostril, the sun, and the masculine energy.
Sushumna is the central channel that runs along the spine and connects the base of the spine to the crown of the head.
By activating and balancing these nadis, Anuloma Viloma harmonizes the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which are responsible to different functions such as logic and creativity.
How to Practice Anuloma Viloma Pranayama
You don’t any special equipment or any experience to start. As long as you don’t do anything that will make you uncomfortable, you won’t go wrong with this breathing exercise.
However, if you are unsure, you can join a class and speak to a trained yoga teacher.
Here are the steps to follow
Find a comfortable and quiet place where you can sit with your spine and neck straight. You can sit on a chair or on the floor in a cross-legged position. Use a yoga mat or cushion if you need to.
Close your eyes and relax your body and mind. Take a few normal breaths to settle in.
On your right hand, fold your index and middle fingers toward your palm. This is known as vishnu mudra. Bring your hand towards your nose. You will use your thumb to close your right nostril and your ring finger to close your left nostril.
Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale slowly and deeply through your left nostril. Fill your lungs with air but do not strain yourself.
Hold your breath for a few seconds.
Release your thumb and close your left nostril with your ring finger. Exhale slowly and completely through your right nostril.
Without changing your hand position, inhale through your right nostril, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale through your left nostril.
This completes one cycle of Anuloma Viloma. You can repeat this cycle for 5 to 10 minutes or as long as you feel comfortable.
To finish the practice, lower your hand and breathe normally. Observe how you feel after the practice.
What are the Benefits of Anuloma Viloma?
Anuloma Viloma has many benefits, both physical and mental health benefits. These benefits will have positive affect on your hormones and blood circulation, both of which are essential for good health.
Improved breathing: Anuloma Viloma pranayama improves your lung capacity which will increase your oxygen uptake and help you expel carbon dioxide.
Improved cardiovascular function: Anuloma Viloma helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate.(if you have low blood pressure and want to increase it, see: Vajra Mudra – Increase Blood Circulation)
Stress reduction: It will calm your nervous system and reduce anxiety.
Mental clarity: Anuloma Viloma helps to enhance your memory, focus and creativity.
It stimulates the pineal gland: Which is responsible for producing melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles.
Opens the Nadis: It cleanses and purifies the nadis from any blockages or impurities that may hinder the flow of prana.
Spiritual awareness: Anuloma Viloma helps to awaken your kundalini energy, which is at the base of the spine. When you activate Kundalini energy you reach higher states of consciousness.See also Yoga Mudrasana as it helps release kundalini.
Anuloma Viloma Pranayama and Viloma Pranayama
People often confuse the anuloma viloma and viloma pranayama. They are not the same.
Viloma pranayama is also known as interrupted breathing because you pause as you breath. And it does not involve alternative nostril breathing.
Try it Today
Modern life is stressful in many ways. Even when we are not busy we do not switch off. Our minds always have something to occupy them. Whether it’s our phone, TV or Netflix.
Rather than get hooked on medication and suffer it’s many side affects, anuloma viloma pranayama will reduce your anxiety, calm your mind and improve your physical health without putting chemicals into your system.
(As with all breathing exercises , If you are already on medication or have health issues, see a doctor before changing anything.)
When you practice consistently, you will also start to connect with the deeper, real you. This is because anuloma viloma opens up the nadis and chakras.
Start to today and see how you feel.