Anuloma Viloma is called Alternate Nostril Breathing, and is one of the main pranayama that allows the body to absorb and retain the most prana. This breath is also extremely energetically purifying. It helps to correct many improper breathing habits, bringing balance between the two hemispheres of the brain, which correspond to the two opposing energies in the body. The left side is logical, masculine, hot; the right side is creative, feminine, and cold energy. These energies are connected to the airflow in our nostrils. When the right nostril is more open, the left hemisphere is more active, and when the left nostril is open the right hemisphere is activated.
Kapalabhati is generally practiced before Anuloma Viloma to open up the lungs and sinuses, the exception being late in the evening when Kapalabhati may keep you from falling asleep.
- Corrects bad breathing habits
- Cleanses and strengthens entire respiratory system
- The retention increases absorption of oxygen into the bloodstream
- Balances the anabolic (inhibitory) and catabolic (acceleratory) processes in the body
- Brings equilibrium both hemispheres of the brain and the energies in the body
- Calms and balances the mind
- Purifies the mind and the subtle body.
For guided practice visit the Practice With Us Page.
1. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, spine straight, chin parallel to the ground. Keep the left hand in Chin mudra and bring the right hand into Vishnu mudra, index and middle fingers tucked into the palm. The thumb, ring and pinky fingers are out.
2. Take a few full, deep breaths.
3. After you exhale, close the right nostril with your right thumb, and inhale through the left nostril for a count of 4.
4. Retain the breath, closing the left nostril with the ring finger. Hold for a count of 16.
5. Release the thumb from the right nostril and exhale for a count of 8.
6. Reverse the procedure. Inhale through the right for 4, retain for 16, exhale through the left for 8.
7. This concludes one round. Practice for 8-10 rounds, as 1-3 times throughout the day or more.
- Keep the shoulders and face relaxed the entire time. If your right shoulder becomes tired, support the elbow with the left hand to allow the shoulder to relax.
- Often during this practice the chin gradually lowers towards the chest or moves to the side. Make sure the head is centered.
- The inhalation and exhalation should be controlled continuous and smooth.
- Each count is approx 1 second, but not longer.