Anuloma Viloma Pranayama:
Anuloma Viloma is a very powerful Pranayama practice. If incorporated into daily life it helps improve our general stamina, relax our nervous system and increase our power of concentration. When you practice Anuloma Viloma you are building vital energy in your body. It cleanses and strengthens the lungs and entire respiratory system.
Anuloma Viloma Pranayama is a component of Hatha yoga practice. The word Anu means ‘with’ and the word Loma mean ‘hair’ or ‘with the grain’ or natural. Viloma means ‘against the grain’. In other words, Anuloma is the opposite of Viloma. We get sick, when our tridoshas are not properly balanced.
Tri means three and dosha means impurities. The three types of impurities are Pitta, Kapha and Vaata. They are present in every living body and the imbalance in one or all three of these is responsible for diseases. It is necessary to have a proper balance among the doshas. The best and the simplest way to maintain the balance is by practicing Anuloma and Viloma.
The highest rate of gas exchange in the lungs occurs during retention (holding the breath). Due to the increased pressure, more oxygen goes from the lungs into the blood and more carbon dioxide (and other waste products) pass from the blood into the lungs to be eliminated during exhalation. Exhalation being twice the time of inhalation, stale air and waste products are drained from the lungs.
The ratio is 1:4:2. Inhale for one count, hold your breath for 4 counts and exhale for 2 counts.
There are other benefits to be considered. Valuable nutrients are formed during retention. This way, you will not need to take any dietary supplements. Doing six full rounds of Anuloma Viloma is like taking a capsule of multivitamins every day. It helps you stay healthy and fit.
- Sit comfortably in Padmasana or any other asana that you are comfortable with and relax your hands on your knees.
- Raise your right hand and make Vishnu mudra by folding down the index and middle fingers
- Exhale through both your nostrils
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb
- Inhale to the count of 4 through your left nostril while keeping your right nostril closed
- Close your left nostril with the tips of your ring and little fingers so that both nostrils are closed
- Hold your breath to the count of 16
- Release your right nostril and exhale completely to the count of 8
- Inhale fully through your right nostril to the count of 4
- Close both nostrils and hold your breath to the count of 16
- Release your left nostril and exhale completely to the count of 8
- This is one full round
- Repeat the entire process 5 times.
When having a blocked nose, do not do the retention. Instead, inhale to the count of 4 and exhale through the alternate nostril for 8 counts. Inhale through the same nostril for 4 counts and exhale through alternate nostril for 8 counts.
Health Benefits Anuloma Viloma Pranayama :
- This breathing technique is excellent for people suffering from respiratory diseases like Asthma.
- It helps in balancing the three doshas in our body.
- Brain cells are revived
- Gives brightness to face
- Balances and strengthens the nervous system
- Removes drowsiness
- Massages the abdominal organs
- Benefits and cleanses respiratory tract
- Removes the spasm in bronchial tubes
- Carbon dioxide is eliminated on a large scale
- Purifies the blood and strengthens the heart
- Tones digestive system
- Prepares mind for meditation.