Anulom Vilom Pranayama – Benefits, Steps to perform and Precautions to be followed
Anulom Vilom Pranayama cleans the pranic channels and makes the prana flow freely in the entire body. The nadis or the pranic energy channels are purified. Hence this pranayama is also called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama.
Purification of the energy channels ensures proper supply of pranic energy to all the organs enhancing the overall health of the body.
Anulom Vilom Pranyama balances the two main energy channels – Ida and Pingala. It balances the two hemispheres of the brain, bringing about peace and tranquility.
When the Ida and Pingala nadis are balanced, it awakens the central channel called Sushumna Nadi.
It removes toxins from the body.
Prolonged practice of Anulom Vilom Pranayama leads to next stage of yoga, which is Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses. This enables the practitioner to progress towards higher practices of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
It can reduce weight in some practitioners depending on their body constitution and is a good practice for obesity.
How to perform:
Sit in a steady asana. Padmasana is most suited for the practice. Siddhasana and Vajrasana may also be used.
Close the right nostril with your thumb and draw in air from the left nostril. Do this as slowly as you can, till your lungs are full.
Now release the thumb and close the left nostril with your ring finger. Then breathe out slowly through the right nostril.
Next take the air in from the right nostril and then release it through the left nostril (after closing the right nostril with the thumb).
This is one round of Anulom Vilom Pranayama.
Start with 5 rounds and increase it up to 20 rounds in one sitting.
Also, the duration of inhalation can start from 2 seconds and go up to 20 seconds or even beyond.
One can have one sitting in the morning and one in the evening. For advanced practitioners, the yogic texts recommends four sittings – one in the morning, one at noon, one in the evening and one at midnight. But for all practical purposes, two sittings (one in morning and one in evening) are enough.
After one has reached a certain level of proficiency, one can add Kumbhaka or retention of breath to the practice.
1. Back is not straight.
2. The breath is not smooth
1) Beginners should only try simple anuloma viloma without breath retention.
2) It is strongly advised that these exercise should be learned in the presence of an experienced yoga teacher only.