How To Practice Anulom Vilom Pranayama Steps and Benefits
What is Anulom Vilom Pranayama?
With each passing day, we are learning so much about pranayama. But do we know the real meaning of pranayama? The word pranayama is derived from the Sanskrit word “prana” which means breath and “Yama” which means extension or regulation. Here thus we understand that it is nothing but the regulation of breath. Pranayama which many think is just inhalation and exhalation but actually, it’s way more than just this. It means controlling the source of the most vital part of life that is a breath
Among many different pranayamas, there is the Anulom Vilom Pranayama which is one of the best pranayamas that one can perform. This is an alternative inhalation and exhalation from the nostrils. Herewith this process one can get a lot of benefits. With this pranayama, many problems are reduced and the steps to perform it are very easy. This pranayama has unconditional benefits for one’s heart, body, mind as well as the soul. This is also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing that is inhalation from one nostril and exhalation from another. Anulom Vilom Pranayama is also known as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. This pranayama is performed before performing any other Pranayam because this is one of the most important forms of pranayama.
Anulom means “upright”, and “Vilom” means ” upside down.” This right nostril is considered as the upright one and the left one is the upside-down one. So you inhale from the right and exhale from the left. The opposite can also be done. Unlike any other yoga, this also helps in purifying the body, soul, and mind. This will help in releasing the stress, anxiety, and pressure on the person who is performing it. Regular practice of this pranayama also helps in reducing serious health conditions of arthritis, high blood pressure, migraine, heart problem, etc.
Steps of Anulom vilom Pranayama
The steps to perform the Anulom Vilom Pranayama are very easy and there are no complications included here. Definitely, morning is the best time to do any sort of pranayama and so is Anulom Vilom Pranayama but it can also be practiced in the evening. To do it follow the steps that are written below:-
- Take a mat and sit on the ground in the most relaxed position possible.
- Close your eyes, keep the spine straight, and keep breathing slowly.
- Put your hands on your knees and relax for some time to feel the freshen of the surroundings.
- For some seconds you need to keep your palms facing the sky in the Gyan mudra position.
- Now slowly and in a very relaxed manner take your right hand to the right nostril.
- Now at this stage, your left hand must be on the left knee.
- Hold this nostril tightly so that the airflow from this nostril is obstructed temporarily.
- Then slowly take a deep breath from the left nostril and hold on.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds
- Then slowly release the breath from the right nostril.
- While doing this act the left nostril should be shut.
- The palm should be kept relaxed at the knee.
- While exhaling the breath takes more time and is slow.
- Now inhale from the right nostril and the other should be shut with the ring finger and little finger.
- Now similarly exhale keeping the other shut and again doing this very slowly.
- Do this process in an alternative manner and keep doing this for some time.
- This will complete one cycle of the Pranayama.
Thus these are the steps. To do it again, repetition of the steps is enough. This can be done 5-6 times a day to get the best benefits from it. Things to keep in mind is that your body must be relaxed, with eyes shut and the exhalation being longer than the inhalation. But if you are a beginner you can do it at per your ease.
Benefits of Anulom vilom Pranayama
The Anulom Vilom Pranayama has many benefits and so many features. The main feature of this is that it balances the body and breathing it. This treats the body from top to bottom and some of the benefits of this can be listed as:-
- The pranayama is highly beneficial for women who are pregnant. This reduces post-pregnancy depression which is a serious problem in women postpartum. Also, this eases the process of pregnancy as well as keeps the mind fresh and healthy. In normal women, this reduces pre-menstruation symptoms reducing pain, cramps, and mode swings.
- This Pranayama as its main focus is breathing this reduces any sort of lung error also makes the body ventilated. This helps in asthmatic symptoms keeping the problem in control. This Pranayama also reduces dyspnoea and wheezing.
- This is one of the best for the eyes because it increases the blood flow to the eyes. This improves eyesight and vision making the eye relaxed and comfortable.
- This also helps in relaxation and thus is beneficial for the mind. The Anulom Vilom Pranayama helps in reducing stress anxiety and pressure. This is also known for the prevention of age-related memory loss issues.
- Helpful in reducing anxiety disorders and depression because this has an excessive calming effect on the brain.
- Studies say that the Anulom Vilom Pranayama helps in weight loss and increases flexibility depending upon the body structure.
- This helps in treating low blood pressure thus helping in treating cardiovascular health.
- This helps in making the skin glow reducing acne spots and dermatitis.
- Beneficial for asthma and breathing disorder problems.
- Reduces the problem of cough, sneezing also is beneficial for reducing sinus or migraine attacks.
- Has a great effect on losing weight because somewhere stress is related to weight. Practicing this reduces stress thus weight and obesity are also reduced accordingly.
- Has a positive effect on the reproductive health of women.
- Reduces any sort of irritation, fatigue, and bloating just before menstruation making the process easy and hassle-free.
- Improves the process of meditation and is also the beginning yoga pose for many asanas.
- The best part is that has no complicated process and thus is very easy to grasp, any age group can perform this yoga and there is no restriction on it.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama FAQs
- How much time for Anulom Vilom Pranayama?
The best that one can do is perform Anulom Vilom Pranayama for about 5-10 minutes at a time for about 5-6 times a day. The best time for any pranayama undoubtedly is the morning empty stomach but one can do it in the evening as well. The only thing in this case that one needs to take care of is to keep a gap of about 5hours between the yoga performance and the last meal. If one is feeling uneasy then immediately it must stop because excessive pressure on the body can be very harmful and affect in a certain way.
- What are the precautions for Anulom Vilom Pranayama?
One must always know the entire history of yoga before performing it. Thus here are some of the precautions that one must take before performing the Anulom Vilom Pranayama:-
- Always do it empty stomach preferably in the morning inhaling the fresh air and in nature.
- At Least 4-5 hours gap must be there between the performance of the Anulom Vilom Pranayama and your meal.
- If you are reciting “OM” while you are performing this asana then there will be a positive effect on your body, mind, and soul.
- Start slow and take it easy. For beginners, one should not pressurize and push oneself to the extreme.
- No sound should come from the mouth while performing the asana and the inhaling and exhaling neither should be from the mouth.
- Also, the pressure on the nostril should not be extreme. Just enough to seal it from inhaling or exhaling.
- Forcing to hold your breath can have a reverse and harmful effect on the body this is advised to avoid it.
- What is the difference between Anulom Vilom Pranayama and Nadi Shodhana Pranayama?
The major difference between the two is in the name. In Anulom Vilom Pranayama the breath is inhaled in the opposite direction of the nasal cavity and again leaves it. And in the Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, involves Kumbhaka purifying the nerves. With this, all the three nadis of the bodywork perfectly.
- Is Anulom Vilom Pranayama safe?
Anulom Vilom Pranayama is safe if one follows the precautions as stated. This is nothing but a simple breathing technique. People with disorders must consult their doctors, pregnant women should also consult their doctors, and apart from that beginners should take it slow and gradually grasp it. In case of any sort of problem visiting the doctor is advised.