Anuloma Viloma, Alternate Nostril Breathing
How to perform Anuloma Viloma Pranayama
Anuloma Viloma is actually the practice of Nadi Shodhana with a counting rhythm and with holding your breath in between inhalation and exhalation.
You sit in a comfortable sitting position like Siddhasana , Vajrasana, Padmasana or Bhadrasana with a straight spine. With the right hand in the Vishnu Mudra you close your un-active nostril. If this is the right one, use your thumb. If it is the left one, use your ring finger and little finger.
Fill your body with air with inhalation counting on two, hold your breath in while counting to eight and exhale while counting to four with your fingers closing the other nostril.
After that you have completed one round of Anuloma Viloma Pranayama. You can repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times.
As usual, you can increase your counting to 4, 16, 8 or 8, 32, 16 or 16, 64, 32.
Benefits of Anuloma Viloma Pranayama
This Pranayama is in particular known for triggering emotions, so please don’t be surprised when the practice of this posture will make you feel emotional. This is also why this pose is good for staying mentally healthy, clearing the mind and your thoughts.
If you are suffering from insomnia, hysteria or mental and physical stress, this exercise is beneficial for you, as it is a very relaxing breathing exercise. It helps in concentration and focusing and boosts your memory power. Additionally it helps you to control your temper and prevent outbursts of anger.
With its calming effect, this breathing exercise is perfect if done before meditation. It prepares you, calms down your emotions and clears your mind.
With its general calming effect, it also ‘calms down‘ your heartbeat which is why it is also helpful for high blood pressure.
As it increases the blood flow in the head, Anuloma Viloma is good for eyes, ears and nose. This posture is even said to be beneficial against early greying hair. Anuloma Viloma provides more oxygen to the brain through this increased blood flow. It clears the weakness of our mind and provides strength. If you are suffering from shakiness or Parkinsons, this might be the right posture to get some relief.
Even your respiratory system, heart, and lungs profit from this exercise as you deepen your breath and bring out the toxins from your body.
Some people mix up Nadi Shodhana Pranayama and Anuloma Viloma Pranayama. Both are very good and beneficial, so don’t be confused about the names. Just do them and get the benefits!
Close your eyes while performing the pranayama and focus within your body
Tips and Help
People suffering from high blood pressure and heart problems should start their practice with low counting. Find an easy and comfortable position. Keep changing the sitting postures whenever you feel uncomfortable. You can also sit on a chair.