Anulom vilom pranayam is one of the most well known breathing exercises in yoga and is also referred to as the alternative nostril breathing technique. It is not only helpful in treating and curing a number of health conditions but also very helpful in providing relief from anxiety and stress. One of the main advantages of the anulom vilom pranayam is that it is not restricted to any particular age group and can be practiced by everyone including children. This breathing technique should be practiced in an open environment as far as possible such as an open playground, field or garden.
However this does not mean that it cannot be practiced indoors. The advantage of practicing it outdoors is that you can reap the benefits of abundant oxygen supply. The best time for practicing this pranayam is early in the morning before breakfast and once in the evening. This pranayam can also be practiced after meals with a 4-5 hour gap after eating. In the case of anulom vilom pranayama weight loss is one of the biggest health benefits and therefore this pranayama is highly recommended for overweight and obese people in addition to other yoga exercises for losing weight.
The deep breathing technique used in this pranayam is very effective in reducing abdominal fat which is the main problem area for most people. It also helps reduce fat deposits from other parts of the body. This pranayam is not only good for treating obesity but it also helps treat problems like acidity and indigestion. In order to get this breathing technique right, it is always advisable to practice it under the guidance of a trained yoga expert. The technique of performing the anulom vilom pranayam is as under;
- Sit in a comfortable position such as the Padmasana (lotus) with your eyes closed. If you cannot sit on the floor you can also practice this pranayam while sitting on a chair.
- Using the right thumb close the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril and hold the breath for a few seconds.
- Now open the right nostril to exhale and close the left nostril with the middle and ring finger.
This is one cycle of the anulom vilom pranayam. This pranayam should be practiced for 5-10 minutes at least twice a day to get optimum results. Although this breathing technique can be practiced by everyone, anulom vilom during pregnancy should be practiced only under professional supervision.
It can be practiced by pregnant women regularly with a few precautions to ensure well being of both the mother and the unborn child. The main precaution to be taken is that pregnant women should not hold their breath too long while performing this pranayam. Another important thing to keep in mind is that in the case of anulom vilom pranayama side effects are nullified.
This breathing technique can only have a positive impact on a person’s health and poses no threat of side effects. Regular practice of anulom vilom helps in clearing all the channels (Nadis) in the human body. A variety of diseases such as arthritis, gout, rheumatism, urinary problems, cataract, sinusitis, common cold and cough, asthma, bronchitis, hypertension and diabetes can all be treated with this pranayam. Blockages in the arteries and veins can also be cleared through regular practice of this pranayam.
The positive effects of this pranayam can be felt from the first day of practice itself. The physical body feels calm and energized while the mind becomes calm and alert. It is one the most highly recommended pranayamas for a life free of diseases and stress.