What Is Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anulom Vilom) And What Are Its Benefits?

Anuloma Viloma Pranayama is one of the great breathing exercises used to practice of Hatha Yoga. The pranayama is also called Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a very effectual that helps to purify our mind and body. The benefits of this pranayama are many. It is very good breathing exercise that helps us to cure most of our internal body conditions and functional in releasing anxiety, nervousness and stress. One can practice this pranayama in a peaceful place, good to practice in a lonely green place, near the river or in the garden that you can get adequate oxygen. Though, there is no exact time to practice this exercise but the best time is observed in the morning, when your mind and body works gently and your mind is stress free and you feel fresh.

How to Practice Anulom Vilom Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing

  1. At first close your eyes and focus your attention on your breathing.
  2. Now close your right nostril with your right thumb and simply press the thumb against your nostril to block it. Inhale slowly through the left nostril and fill your lungs with air.
  3. At the first time, you need to feel the diaphragm move down, allowing the lungs to expand and forcing the abdomen out, feel your chest expand with your collar bones rising last.
  4. Now remove your thumb from your right nostril.
  5. Now you need to keep your right hand by your nose and your lungs full of air. You should use your ring and middle finger to close your left nostril. Most of the people find it very comfortable to continue using the same hand to block either nostril, but you can use both of the hands depending on which nostril you are blocking.
  6. Now exhale slowly and completely with the right nostril and feel that your collar bones dropping, chest deflating, and abdomen shrinking as the lungs collapse. When you have finished exhaling, keep your left nostril closed. Inhale through the right nostril. Fill your lungs.
  7. Now close your right nostril and open the left. You need to breathe out slowly through the left nostril, because this process is one round of Anulom Vilom Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing exercise. Same as you need to continue for 15 -16 minutes and take at least after every 5 minutes.

Anuloma Viloma or Alternate Nostril Breathing Benefits

Anulom Vilom has lots of physical benefits.

  • Practicing Alternate Nostril Breathing or Anulom Vilom Pranayama regularly helps in awakening the Kundalini whether your center of attention is on the Moolandra Chakra in the time of practice.
  • One of the main alternate nostril breathing benefits if good for sinus, helpful for respiratory issues, helps to prevent and cure asthma.
  • This breathing exercise is also good in removing artery blockages and maintain the cholesterol levels, good for constipation, diabetes and obesity.
  • It is one of the great pranayam that helps you to lose your excess weight without any side effects.

Remember: Do not practice Alternate Nostril Breathing during pregnancy and or periods. If you are suffering from heart diseases avoid this exercise. It is good that you take advice of a yoga and pranayma guru to get the overall benefits without any problems. 

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About the Author: Kabbyik

Kabbyik Mitra, a voracious reader and health writer. He is a health & lifestyle journalist. Kabbyik is a yoga enthusiast practicing yoga for last 7-year. He is a certified yoga therapist, a science writer, communicator and journalist. He has been practicing yoga and training people to live a healthy and happy life. Get in touch with him via email: yogatoall2016@gmail.com for any yoga related queries.


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