Anulom Vilom Pranayama, also known as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing exercise, is one of the main practices of Yoga. It is not just a breathing practice but a Yogic technique to bring mental calm, peace and tranquillity in life. However, the benefits of Anulom Vilom Pranayama are not limited to the realms of Yoga. Even Ayurveda supports the practice of Anulom Vilom every day to maintain your physical and mental health.
According to Ayurveda, Anulom Vilom Pranayama is an excellent exercise to reduce stress and balance the three Doshas in the body, viz Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It helps to flush out the toxins or Ama from the body, which is the main objective of Ayurveda.
Anulom Vilom Pranayam is known to improve the flow of Prana and balance the energies flowing through Ida and Pingala Nadis in the body. It helps to eliminate toxins and free radicals from these Nadis and stimulate the central channel called Sushumna Nadi, which in turn restores the balance between the two hemispheres of the brain.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama helps to improve the functioning of the two hemispheres of your brain and restore the balance between them while also enhancing your cognitive skills.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama is known to reduce the levels of cortisol, a stress-induced hormone that can cause weight gain and obesity in the body. It also helps curb the cravings for high-fat comfort foods and prevent weight gain.
Practising Anulom Vilom every day can positively impact your mental health and reduce stress. It also helps to relieve anxiety and depression.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama helps to boost the blood circulation in the optic nerve and enhance their functioning, thereby improving overall eye health.
Regular practice of Anulom Vilom can also prevent stress-related skin disorders such as premature greying, acne, atopic dermatitis, etc.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama involves intense breathing practice that helps to boost digestion and prevent stomach infections, constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama also helps to improve the flow of oxygen in the lungs, thereby clearing blockages within the sinuses in the skull and relieving chronic sinusitis.
Anulom Vilom is known as one of the best practices to strengthen the lungs and maintain respiratory health. It helps prevent many respiratory disorders such as coughing, wheezing, asthma, dyspnoea, etc.
Regular practice of Anulom Vilom can help boost the functioning of the nervous system and maintain mental health, thereby improving concentration and memory strength in individuals.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama involves three steps: Puraka (inhalation), Kumbhaka (retention) and Rechaka (exhalation). As a beginner, you may skip the retention or Kumbhaka step. However, after some time, you should try to hold your breath between inhalation and exhalation.
The steps to practice this Pranayama are:
Anulom Vilom Pranayama is safe and healthy for everyone. However, people suffering from heart ailments should avoid doing this exercise unless advised by the doctor.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama is one of the best Yoga practises to inculcate in your exercise routine. Regular practice of Anulom Vilom can yield many health benefits to the body and mind. It can reduce stress, relieve respiratory problems, improve digestion and boost the overall health of the body and mind.
This article is reviewed by Swati Nigam