Anulom Vilom Pranayama, the Alternate Nostril Breathing, is one of the most effective Pranayama or breathing exercise to purify the mind and body. The purpose of Anulom Vilom Pranayama is to control the breathing mechanism which is an involuntary process. We know that breathing goes on, even in our sleep, as it is controlled by our central nervous system. With regular practice of Anulom vilom pranayama, the breathing process can be brought into our conscious control and in turn enhance the Prana. Here in this article we will explain you Anulom Vilom benefits on health and steps to perform this Pranayama.

Anulom Vilom Benefits and Steps

Anulom Vilom pranayama can be performed by people of all ages. It is good if this is practiced in the open space with good lighting and fresh air. The best time to practice this breathing exercise is considered to be early in the morning before breakfast and in the evening with a gap of 4-5 hrs hours after eating.

Anulom Vilom benefits

Steps to perform Anulom Vilom Pranayama

  1. Close your eyes, sit in comfortable position and relax all your muscles, keep your back, spine erect.
  2. Close the right nostril with the right thumb, Inhale slowly and gently through the left nostril, inhale as much as you can, filling your lungs and expanding your chest
  3. Remove the thumb from the right nostril and close the left nostril with your middle or ring finger.
  4. Keeping the left nostril fully closed, exhale through your right nostril and breathe out completely.
  5. Start the next cycle by breath in from right nostril; inhale as much as possible filling in the lungs and expanding the chest.
  6. Close the right nostril with your thumb, open the left nostril and exhale slowly and gently breathing out the air completely.
  7. This will complete one round of the pranayama. Repeat step 2 to 6

You could perform this exercise for around 15 -20 minutes preferably twice every day.

Anulom Vilom Pranayama is also known as Nadi Shodhana pranayama. The only difference is that in Anulom Vilom, we only inhale and exhale, where as in Nadi Shodhana Pranayama we hold the breath for few seconds before exhaling. This is called as Kumbhaka, breath retention. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama can be practiced as a next level of Anulom Vilom Pranayama. Now lets understand on how Anulom Vilom Benefits on our health.

Anulom Vilom Benefits on Health

Anulom Vilom benefits us by balancing the body’s three doshas, Vaata, Pitta and kaffa and thus avoids any illness due to imbalance of doshas.

  • Anulom Vilom Pranayama cleans the Pranic channels. This helps Prana to flow freely in the entire body, the Nadi’s and the Pranic energy channels get purified. Hence this is also called as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
  • Focusing on the Moolandra Chakra while performing this exercises helps in awakening the Kundalini Shakthi.
  • It also balances two main energy channels –Ida and Pingala, which in turn balances the two hemispheres of the brain, bringing about harmony and serenity.
  • Prolonged practice of Anulom Vilom benefits the yoga practitioner to next stage, which is Pratyahara, withdrawal of the senses. This enables the practitioner to progress towards higher practices of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
  • Anulom Vilom benefits in breathing related problems like sinus, respiratory problems and asthma
  • Removes any artery blockages and maintains the cholesterol levels
  • Effectively deals with conditions like constipation, flatulence, diabetes and obesity

To reap the above benefits of Anulom Vilom Pranayama, it is important that one has to practice consistently at least twice in a day

 Side effects of Anulom Vilom Pranayama

Anulom Vilom Pranayama does not have any side effects if learnt from a qualified Yoga instructor and if practised correctly. The practice of this Pranayama should be taken up with care.

  • One should not overdo the practice.
  • Should not increase the duration of inhalation and exhalation beyond your limit.
  • This Pranayama can cure most of the diseases, But, if done improperly, it may create diseases, which becomes impossible to be cured easily even through medical treatment
  • Women during pregnancy, should consult qualified Yoga instructor before doing this Pranayama
  • Person who suffer from heart troubles should not perform this breathing exercise with too much force and should practice it under the guidance of a qualified instructor.