Anulom Vilom is one of the practices of Pranayama or breathing exercise used in Hatha yoga. This practice is also called as alternate nostril breathing practice. Yoga practioners usually practice with the name of “Nadi Shudi Sadhana”. Nadis are energy channels within our body. Purification of these channels is the basis of this pranayama. This pranayama is designed to have an easy energy flow throughout the body. As a beginner in yoga, this pranayama is given a higher priority in order to overcome the disturbance in the mind & also to open up energy flow blocks in the body.

The anulom is opposite to vilom as it is in the process. Anulom Vilom Pranayama is considered to be best way of balancing the ‘Tri dosas’ i.e. ‘three impurities” in our body. Our body gets ill when these Tri dosas Vaat, Pitta & Kaffa are not in balance. These three dosas are present in everybody’s body. Even if one of them is not balanced then we suffer from different illnesses.  

How to perform this practice?

  1. Sit in any steady meditative posture like Sukhasana, Padmasana or Vajrasana.
  2. Keep your back straight. Keep your head, neck & spine in line.
  3. Slowly close your eyes, release the tension in mind & show a gentle smile on your face.
  4. Close the right nostril with your thumb and inhale from the left nostril. Do this as slowly as you can. Keep the volume & length of breath, natural & normal.
  5. Now release the thumb and close the left nostril with your ring finger. Then exhale slowly through the right nostril.
  6. Next breathe in from the right nostril, close the right nostril with the thumb and then breathe out from the left nostril. This is one round of Anulom Vilom Pranayama.
  7. Start with at least 21 rounds in one sitting and slowly & gradually increase the practice.
  8. As you practice daily, your breath will become subtler & more relaxed.
  9. Try to be consistent everyday with your practice for efficient results.

Important points to consider

  1. Keep your breath as natural as possible. Do not try to control it much.
  2. Learn to attention on your breath as keenly as possible while inhalation & exhalation. But, try to stay calm as possible.
  3. Do not lose the alignment of the body during the practice
  4. Keep yourself joyful during the practice. It will enhance the effects multiple folds.
  5. Be patient enough & practice as long as possible in one sitting.

Beneficial Facts

  1. It develops the state of mental & emotional balance in our mind
  2. Purification of the breathing channels ensures proper supply of oxygenated breath to the respiratory organs enhancing the overall health of the body.
  3. Practicing of Anulom Vilom pranayama increases the lung capacity which in turn helps to perform physical activity efficiently.
  4. It helps in releasing our body from various toxins and making it healthier from within
  5. It improves the immune system of our body curing general healthy issue like cough & cold
  6. It helps in relaxing and calming nervous system
  7. This also helps in improved concentration power, focus and enhances the decision-making capability
  8. As the body gets clean internally, the effect is visible on the externally as a natural glow on your skin
  9. It helps you to become meditative.
  10. It helps in relieving mental health related issues like depression, anxiety or stress
  11. With regular practice, it helps in treating respiratory disorders like asthma or bronchitis or sinus
  12. This breathing practice helps in curing many problems like heart related issues, high blood pressure, migraine, arthritis, etc.

Precautionary Measures

  • Learn to practice in a right way under a proper knowledgeable instructor
  • In the process of learning to deal with energies in our system, one has to understand the way it functions & the way it can be handled.
  • Doing it in wrong method can lead to many health ailments as well.


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