Nadi Shodhana Pranayam (Anulom Vilom/Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Nadi Shodhana Pranayam (Anulom Vilom/Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Sit in a cross legged position on a Yoga Mat, with spine straight and eyes closed. People who can’t sit on the floor on the mat can try doing the practice on a chair. Before you start the practice just keep yourself mentally completely relax. Observe the flow of air in your nostrils, try making your breath rhythmic and if you can’t don’t worry, just observe your breath with closed eyes.

  1. Assume Chin Mudra in left hand and Vishnu or Nasika Mudra right hand
  2. Close right nostril with right thumb and inhale from the left for 4 counts (Om 1, Om 2, Om 3, Om 4).
  3. Close both your nostrils together
  4. Open up right nostril exhale out from the right (Om 1, Om 2, Om 3, Om 4)
  5. Inhale from right (Om 1, Om 2, Om 3, Om 4) , close your nostril and then exhale from left (Om 1, Om 2, Om 3, Om 4)

This is one round repeat for 9 rounds to start with. Also the ratio of inhalation and exhalations is to be kept at 1:1 initially, which can then be increased to 1:2 (where 2 is for exhalations, also note that we are not holding/retaining breath).

a. Once you have mastered this, you could start with holding the breath after each inhalations so now the ratio would be 1:2:2 (exhalation:retention:inhalation) and

b. Then you could change to 1:4:2

Holding breath needs practice and patience, it not just about holding the breath but more about stopping the mind from getting distracted. So if you are holding the breath with lot of effort and discomfort then the purpose gets defeated.

Benefits of doing Anulom Vilom/Nadi Shodhana

  • As the name suggests, it helps to cleanse Nadis (energy channels) of our energy body and hence has benefits for physical body as well
  • It is a good practice for everyone and can be done at most of the times for targeted benefits
  • It can work wonders when you want to work on problems that you are facing has arisen due to imbalance between Surya and Chandra Nadis (can also be understood in a limited sense as the left and right hemisphere of our brain), especially in psychosomatic disorders
  • So it can even work and help you to reduce stress or to balance your emotions
  • Remember – movement of air in the left and the right nostril also maintains the homeostasis in the body in a specific way, so each of our body processes need specific movements of these nostrils (most of the times one is more active than the other).
  • When you have blocked nostril, we suggest that it should be avoided as we are not able to control the movement on air in the nostril and it might lead to undesired change in the body’s processes

Take the simple quiz below to check your understanding of Anulom Vilom:

Watch the below given video from 4 min onwards, to know the way we can do the practice

3 most effective breathing exercises

3 most effective breathing exercises!Read more here: https://goo.gl/ra5xXZ#InternationalYogaDay

Posted by TOI Health & Fitness on Wednesday, 20 June 2018

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