Before moving into Anulom Vilom Pranayama lets first understand what is pranayama.
Pranayama is a practice of accumulating and enhancing one’s “Prana Vayu.”
“Prana Vayu” is a frequently used word in yoga. It is a set of 10 different types of Vayu which play a vital role in one’s lifestyle.
Yoga and Ayurveda describe “prana Vayu” as the energy that dominates one’s physical, mental, and physiological functioning. Therefore, the Vedic scholars always recommended practicing certain Pranayamas to have these energies well regulated and controlled. Thus, leading to a physically, mentally, and physiologically healthy life.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama (initial name: Nadi Shodhana Pranayama) is one such pranayama that has an ability to bring the “Prana Vayu” in control. This pranayama has over 300+ known benefits, and that is why it is also called the ‘king of all Pranayamas’
Also known as Alternative Breathing, this practice was often followed by yogis and sages to enhance their energy levels which ultimately helped them in meditating for hours.
Benefits of Anulom Vilom for different organs:
The alternative breathing practice in no time balances the efficiency and functioning of both the hemispheres of the brain.
According to science, the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for all the activities that involve the use of analytical and methodical skills. For instance, all the activities that involve analyzing, sequencing, mathematics, facts, language, and logical reasoning are managed by the left hemisphere of the brain.
On the other side, all the activities that involve visuality are looked after by the right brain. For instance, face recognition, reading emotions, creativity, imagination, intuition, and one’s understanding of music and arts are all performed by the right hemisphere of the brain.
Anulom vilom balances and enhances the functioning of both these hemispheres, thereby leading to one’s significant mental and psychological development.
Ayurveda also mentions that if a person’s both hemispheres of the brain are well developed, a ‘Nadi’ called the ‘Sushumna Nadi’ gets activated. This Nadi further enhances one’s mental strength so immensely that he/ she can predict their future and past almost accurately!
During the Anulom Vilom process, you take deep breaths repeatedly. This fills your lungs up to their full capacity, which is a very good practice to maintain one’s lungs’ health.
Studies prove that alternative breathing increases the endurance of the lungs very much. For people suffering from ‘Kapha dosha’ (sinus, excess mucus) problems, Anulom Vilom is a perfect exercise since it helps in draining the unnecessary mucus out of the body.
Yoga mentions that the more healthier and efficient are one’s brain neurons, the better will be their eye vision. Many people globally witness an eyesight improvement after practicing the alternative breathing technique for a few months.
For Overall Body:
Anulom Vilom improves blood circulation in the body. There are many pieces of research and experiments that prove anulom vilom very effective for maintaining one’s skin health. People also convey that after practicing anulom vilom for a few months, their skin naturally glows more. They also claim that it helps in anger and stress management very much.
Benefits of Anulom Vilom pranayama (List view):
As mentioned earlier, Anulom Vilom has as many as 300+ health benefits. Below is a list of a few of these benefits:
- Enhances the functioning of both the hemispheres of the cerebrum.
- Increases the concentration power.
- Improves both long and short-term memory.
- Helps in curing depression.
- Increases one’s patience.
- Increases one’s resoluteness.
- Maintains the health of organs, especially the lungs.
- Lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Suits are best for people with heart blockage.
- Improves eyesight.
- Enhances the thinking capability so much that one can make the right decisions in less time.
- Improves creativity.
- Makes the entire nervous system strong.
- Very helpful to people having faced paralysis attacks in past.
- Reduces stress.
- Calms the mind and body.
- Acts like a walking stick for meditators.
- Improves the glow of the skin.
- Improves sleep quality. Also helpful for people suffering from Insomnia.
- Relieves people with Sinus, Asthma, and Arthritis.
- Improves digestion.
- Improves blood circulation in the body.
- Helps people suffering from fits.
Steps to practice anulom vilom
There are many variations of anulom vilom. However, the steps to perform the most common and effective method it is given below:
Step 1: Seat yourself in an open environment or a well-ventilated room with no pollution.
Step 2: Close your right nostril with your right thumb (close the left nostril with the left thumb if you are a left-hander)
Step 3: Take a deep breath from the unclosed nostril and hold it for 3 to 12 seconds.
Step 4: Now exhale from the other nostril you closed earlier by simultaneously blocking the first nostril using your finger.
Repeat this for initially 5 minutes and increase the duration with time and practice.
Precautions to be observed while practicing Anulom Vilom
- Never practice this after having meals. If performing in the evenings, make sure you have your lunch light and at least 3 hours before practice. It works best when you have an empty stomach.
- Never perform this if the weather is humid or too cold
- Preferably, practice this in the morning. You can practice this up to 2 hours from sunrise. If practicing in the evenings, make sure you do it right after the sunset or during the sunset.
- Never do it in a hurry.
- Never do it forcefully. If you are not willing to do it, just don’t do it.
- Never do it when you are tired.
- People having Blood Pressure and Heart issues must not practice this fast.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama or alternative breathing is being practiced in the Vedic culture for millenniums for its ultimate health benefits. It has been scientifically proven that Anulom Vilom helps in one’s mental, physical, physiological, and emotional development significantly.
It is practiced by taking a deep breath from one nostril while closing the other nostril with a finger simultaneously, and after this, exhaling the breath from the other nostril by blocking the first nostril with a finger and, repeating this for a few minutes.
From time to time, people globally convey the benefits of Anulom Vilom Pranayama in their life. Not just improvement in memory and concentration, but many people also claim that this helps in lowering stress and anxiety, improves sleep quality, improves the glow of skin, improves eyesight, etc.