How to do Anulom Vilom Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing) – Easy Breathing Exercise for Everyone

In Anulom Vilom we do the breathing from one nostril only. It is one of the most easy, effective, and popular pranayama. It does not have any side effects, and can be performed by people of all ages. Moreover, there is no specific time to do it, it can be done in your morning hours, or anytime in the day after 4-5 hours of taking meal once food is digested. You can do it at home or in the office as per your time convenience. This is why it has been touted as the most instant pranayama.

It can cure most of the internal body conditions if done properly and regularly.It is important that you practice it daily for maximum benefit. It is also advised that one should keep himself on the strict vegetarian diet during the course of pranayama.

Steps to do Anulom Vilom

Select a location where you can get maximum fresh air and oxygen. This exercise is all about infusing maximum oxygen to your lungs so that oxygenated blood is circulated throughout your body.

Sit in the padmasana pose, close your eyes and relax your mind, settle down. If one cannot sit on the ground, he can also sit on the chair comfortably. Inhale from your left nostril keeping your right nostril closed with the thumb of your right hand, retain the breath for a few seconds and exhale from your right nostril by closing left nostril with middle and ring finger. The duration of retention of breath may vary as per your capacity, you can try holding it 4 seconds and later increase up to 20 seconds.

Do the same process from your right nostril and exhale from your left nostril, this will complete one round of the pranayama. 15 minutes of exercise will be more than enough initially and then time can be increased according to long sitting comfort. Repeat again.

Do not lift your elbow too high, your hand may get fatigued after a while.Be aware of the flow of air through your breathing and make sure that oxygen is being soaked by your lungs rather than abdomen. In the process your chest should expand and not your abdomen.

One can also fix the inhalation and exhalation ration, for example, initially, if you inhale for 4 seconds, then exhale also for 4 seconds. Later increase the ration as per your comfort to 1:2, means inhalation is 4 seconds, then exhalation is 8 seconds. Remember the slow is exhalation, the better it is. Keep your mind focused, and body relaxed during the whole process.

anulom-vilom-pranayamaImage Credit: herbalcureindia.com

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Anulom Vilom Pranayama Benefits

  1. AnulomVilombalances the three dosas in the body i.e. vaat, pitt, kuf. Imbalance in the three dosas lead to discomfort in your body such as high blood pressure, heart problems, depression, migraine pain, asthma, sinus, allergy etc.
  2. This breathing technique is specially helpful to the conditions of sinus, respiratory problems, asthma, and maintenance of cholesterol levels. Even doctors advise to practice the technique.
  3. It keeps the digestive system healthy and gives your skin a lovely internal glow.
  4. A study conducted shows that people who practice regular pranayama have higher and efficient lung function than sports persons.

Anulom Vilom Pranayama Precaution

  1. AnulomVilom should not be attempted by women during pregnancy and periods.
  2. Individuals with heart problems should not perform this exercise.
  3. Don’t overdo it, or force it.
  4. Retention of breath is not advisable to everyone as it is an expert level. It should be done under the super vision only.
  5. It is suggested that, if possible,anulomvilomshould be practiced in conjunction with other pranayams such as brahmri, bhastrika and kapalbhatietc.

[highlight]It is advisable to perform any asana in the supervision of a qualified yoga instructor.[/highlight]
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