One of the three major aspects of Yoga is Pranayama that helps to form the body and mind connection and also connects the moment with the breath. Pranayama means the extension of the prana (breathe or life force). Prana means ‘life force’ and Ayama means ‘restraining or control’. The breathing technique is designed to intentionally alter the breath to gain good health and calm mind. Pranayama or breathing techniques are of various types and each of them has their own significance and set of benefits.
One such infamous Pranayama technique is ‘Anulom Vilom’.
What is Anulom Vilom?
Anulom Vilom Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing exercise is one of the most beneficial breathing exercises that works great for treating the respiratory-related problems. Anulom Vilom is the modern name for the Nadi Shodhana Pranayama used by Swami Kripalu. Its meaning states- Nadi-Channel and Shodhana- Purify. This Pranayama practice is a bundle of various benefits and gifts us the treasure of good health.
How to practice Anulom Vilom?
- Sit with an erect spine on the floor in Padmasana or Sukhasana position.
- Now, place your left hand on the knees in Chin Mudra- with the palms facing upwards and thumb and index finger touching each other.
- Now place the right-hand thumb on the right nostril, index and middle finger placed in between the eyebrows and the ring finger in the left nostril.
- Now close your eyes and then close your right nostril and breathe in from the left nostril.
- Hold the breath for few seconds and then close the left nostril and breathe out from the right nostril.
- Now inhale from the right nostril, hold, and exhale from the left. Continue the practice for 5-10 minutes.
Top Health Benefits of Anulom Vilom Pranayama
Clears the clogged arteries
The Alternate nostril breathing is an amazing breath exercise for the heart health and to prevent coronary issues. Practicing the asana for 120 days helps with removing 30-40% of blockage from the arteries, enhance blood flow, and prevent diseases like angina, L.D.L, Pathogenic cholesterol, H.D.L., and Triglycerides.
Good for mental health
Pranayama practice regulates breathing that improves the oxygen supply to the brain. The enhanced oxygen flow regenerates the brain cells, makes it active, and helps with improving memory, concentration, attention, focus, and stabilizes the mood as well. Practicing Anulom Vilom also improves the overall mental health and cures problems like depression, anxiety, tension, and reduces stress.
Enhances respiratory health
Practicing Anulom Vilom helps to keep the diseases related to respiration at bay. As you practice this breathing technique- it expands the lungs and lets you inhale more amount of oxygen, enhance the lung functioning, regulate breathing, and makes it steady. It prevents issues like asthma, allergies, bronchitis, obstructive pulmonary diseases, etc.
Cleanses the energy channels
This Pranayama cleanses the pranic channels of our body and enhances the prana flow. The practice ensures the pranic energy supply to the entire body and helps with maintaining the overall health. This breathing technique works towards balancing the two main energy channels- Ida and Pingala and makes the brain peaceful.
Improves blood circulation
Practicing Anulom Vilom also improves the blood circulation in the body. As you breathe out deeply, the lungs get filled up with the oxygen and go to the heart and brain. More oxygen means a better blood circulation.
Helps Reduce Weight
When the oxygen reaches the intestine, it helps in reducing weight by flushing out the toxins from the body. Weight issue occurs due to many reasons and with the practice of pranayama, you can lose weight gain caused by an accumulation of toxins and low metabolic rate as it also improves metabolism and balances hormones.
Gives a glowing skin
Avail the beauty benefits of Anulom Vilom. With a regular practice, get rid of the skin problems including pimples, dullness, pigmentation, and get the glowing flawless skin. It purifies the blood, clears the skin, and makes it brighter and healthier.
Snoring not only disturbs the sleep but is also harmful to the overall health. Habitual snorers are at a greater risk of serious diseases like obstructive sleep apnea where a person stops breathing for a few seconds while sleeping. Snoring occurs due to various issues and Anulom Vilom allows free breathing by thoroughly cleansing the nasal passage.
Anulom Vilom practice balances the sugar level and prevents diabetes. The issue occurs due to a metabolism disorder in which the body stops producing insulin and leads to diabetes. Anulom Vilom practice regulates the symptoms of diabetes, improves the function of the organs, and boosts the oxygen level in the body.
Indulge in a daily practice to reap all these amazing benefits of Anulom Vilom Pranayama. Best to practice it in the morning!