What is Anulom Vilom?

Anulom Vilom, also known as Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a pranayama (breathing) technique widely practised in yoga. The term 'Anulom' means 'with the grain' or 'natural,' and 'Vilom' means 'against the grain' or 'opposite.' This technique involves alternating inhalation and exhalation through each nostril, balancing the body's energy flow.

The history of Anulom Vilom can be traced back to ancient yogic texts and practices. Pranayama, including Anulom Vilom, has been integral to traditional yoga systems for thousands of years.

Anulom Vilom is mentioned in ancient yogic texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Gheranda Samhita, dating back to the 15th and 17th centuries. These texts describe the technique as a means to balance the flow of prana (life force energy) and purify the body's nadis (energy channels).

Nadi Shodhana helps balance the flow of prana (life force energy) in the body, ensuring the energy channels are clear and harmonious. As a result, it calms the mind, reduces stress and anxiety, improves mental focus, and enhances overall well-being. The practice brings balance to the left and right parts of the brain, promoting a sense of stability. Here “nadi” means the nerves, and shodhana meaning to purify.

Regular practice of Nadi Shodhana is believed to purify the nadis, removing any energy blockages and promoting a balanced flow of prana throughout the body. This can lead to improved physical and mental health, increased vitality, and heightened clarity and inner peace.

In the yogic tradition, Anulom Vilom is a form of Nadi Shodhana, meaning 'nerve cleansing.' The practice aims to clear blockages and harmonise the flow of energy throughout the body. It is believed that when the nadis are balanced, and the energy flows freely, optimal physical and mental health can be achieved.

Anulom Vilom gained popularity and recognition in the modern era through the teachings of renowned yoga masters like Swami Sivananda and B.K.S. Iyengar. They played significant roles in promoting yoga and pranayama practices to a broader audience, highlighting the importance of breath control and its profound effects on overall well-being.

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How to perform Anulom Vilom or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama?

Anuloma Viloma Pranayama benefits or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama benefits people who are consistent in their wellness journeys. Therefore, knowing how to perform Anulom Vilom to feel better is essential. To practice Anulom Vilom or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama steps, are as follows:

  • Find a comfortable seated position, keeping your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.
  • Close your eyes and bring your right hand into Vishnu Mudra by folding the index and middle fingers towards your palm. The thumb, ring finger, and little finger remain extended.
  • Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale deeply through the left nostril. Focus on a smooth, steady breath.
  • At the top of the inhalation, close the left nostril with the ring finger, releasing the thumb from the right nostril, and exhale slowly and completely through the right nostril.
  • Inhale through the right nostril, then close it with the right thumb. Next, release the ring finger from the left nostril and exhale through the left nostril.
  • Continue this alternate nostril breathing, inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other while maintaining a calm and steady breath.

The practice of how to perform nadi shodhana pranayama helps balance the flow of prana (life force energy) in the body and clears the nadis (energy channels). As a result, it promotes a calm and focused mind, reduces stress, and enhances overall well-being. This technique is believed to balance the left and right parts of the brain, bringing balance to the nervous system.

Regular practice of Nadi Shodhana breathing can have various benefits, including improved respiratory function, increased lung capacity, reduced anxiety, enhanced mental clarity, and improved energy flow throughout the body.

There are various other Anulom Vilom benefits for heart, mind, soul, and body. These benefits help people grow and make them feel more energetic, enthusiastic, happy and hopeful. In addition, Anuloma Viloma Pranayama benefits include relaxation, rest, and emotional stability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Anulom Vilom is known to decrease blood pressure, strengthen your heart, revive your lungs, and provide you with more energy and spirit. With regular practice, you will notice several Anulom Vilom benefits for heart and feel more active and enthusiastic.
Some Anulom Vilom benefits for eyes include better eyesight, more blood circulation to the eyes, less strain, and even calmness. In addition, it is believed that through Anulom Vilom, one can reduce ailments related to the eyes.
To achieve maximum Anuloma Viloma Pranayama benefits, one should do it for at least 30-45 minutes. It is widely believed and observed in yogic science and practices that practising Anulom Vilom for a minimum of 30 minutes can reduce the chances of sinus inflammation, cold, cough, weak eyesight, and even several heart diseases.
You can read this InstaAstro page on Anulom Vilom to know how to perform Anulom Vilom, its history, and even its origin. In addition, you can also read about the other forms of Yoga on the InstaAstro website.
Yes, anyone can start their fitness journey with regular Anulom Vilom. Anulom Vilom is one of the simplest and most accessible forms of Yoga that anyone can adopt regardless of age, weight, or any other factor. However, it is advisable to always contact a professional before adopting any new technique. In addition, if you suffer from respiratory illnesses or any other severe medical conditions, you should talk to a Yoga professional and adjust your routine as needed.
Anulom Vilom should be practised and observed on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Yoga gurus believe practising Yoga before consuming food can lead to miraculous benefits and positive results.
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