Yogasana and pranayama are claimed to have beneficial effects on improving the functions of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the central nervous system (CNS) of the body.
Pranayama is a technique to regulate the breath or control the extension or expansion of the energy in the body. The practice of Pranayama has been proved to be beneficial on the structural and functional aspects of the cardio-respiratory system.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing exercise is considered as one of the best pranayamas for treating the respiratory-related problems. Many types of research have been done to find out the potential benefits of anulom vilom pranayama to the body. And it has been found that practicing anulom vilom pranayama regularly can cure many health problems.
17 Anulom Vilom Benefits for Health
- Strengthens the nervous system and respiratory system.
- Relax the body and mind.
- It improves concentration and relieves stress, depression, and hypertension.
- Reduce Blood Pressure (systolic and diastolic blood pressure) in people suffering from Hypertension.
- It improves blood circulation in the body.
- Reduce Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in the female.
- Minimize the symptoms of rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses and nasal cavity).
- Improves cognition, anxiety and general well-being.
- Enhance Memory power.
- It improves vital capacity and maximal ventilatory volume.
- Practicing Anulom Vilom Pranayama with meditation and a controlled diet can give better control over the heart.
- It enhances digestive power.
- Regenerates the dead cells which develop the potential of self-healing within ourselves.
- Increases pure oxygen supply throughout the body.
- Treats constipation.
- Reduce obesity.
- Clears the skin, and makes the skin brighter and healthier.
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How to do Anulom Vilom Pranayama? – Steps
Anulom Vilom should be done in sitting posture, and the following instructions should be followed:
- First, sit in a comfortable, balanced meditative pose,
- Then, close the eyes, keep the back straight and put the hands-on knees,
- Place the left hand on the left knee, palm facing the sky and make the tips of index and thumb fingers gently touching each other,
- Use the right-hand thumb to close the right nostril,
- Start inhaling gently from the left nostril, until the lungs become full of air,
- Then close the left nostril with the right hand’s index finger,
- exhale slowly from the right nostril,
- Now, Inhale with the right nostril, while keeping the left nostril closed,
- Then, close the right nostril with the right-hand thumb, and
- Exhale with the left nostril. This is one round of Anulom vilom pranayama.
- Repeat steps from 3 to 10 for at least 5 minutes.
Note: The anulom vilom pranayama can be done from 3 years of age children up to any age.
For practicing anulom vilom pranayama following precautions should be taken
Choosing the perfect place is very important for getting the maximum health benefits of Anulom vilom pranayama. A calm and peaceful area, a neat and clean room or a greenery place like a garden for fresh air can be a perfect place to practice this pranayama.
Always use a yoga mat or any other clean material to sit on it. Sit in the cross-legged asanas and keep the back, neck, and head straight. The body should be in a relaxed posture.
If cross-legged sitting is not possible, then use a chair with straight back support and a flat seat. The feet should be entirely on the ground and making thighs and knees touch together.
The inhalation and exhalation should be very gentle so that no sound should be audible. Do not use mouth to breathe. During inhalation, make sure the air should go to the lungs and not into the stomach.
There is no fixed standard for inhalation and exhalation ratio. It depends on age and lung capacity. Generally, in the beginning, the inhalation and exhalation ratio should be 1:1. Means, if inhalation time through one nostril is 4 seconds, then the exhalation time from the other nostril should also be 4 seconds.
As with regular practice, the ratio can be changed to 1:2, which means if inhalation time is 3 seconds, then exhalation time should be 6 seconds.
This pranayama can be practiced twice or thrice in a day (Morning, Noon and Evening time). But the best time to exercise is early morning so that fresh air will be available.
Moreover, Anulom vilom should be practiced after 4 to 5 hours of having food and 20 to 30 minutes before having food. Always practice this pranayama on an empty stomach from 05 to 20 minutes, as overdoing can lead to fatigue.
- PubMed – 1, 2, 3, 4
- Journal, Indian Academy of Clinical Medicine