Anuloma Viloma (Alternate Nostril Breathing to Balance Energy Channels) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Chakras & Energy Glossary

I. What is Anuloma Viloma?

Anuloma Viloma, also known as alternate nostril breathing, is a breathing technique that is commonly practiced in yoga and Ayurveda. The term “Anuloma” means “with the grain” or “natural,” while “Viloma” means “against the grain” or “reverse.” This technique involves breathing through one nostril at a time, alternating between the left and right nostrils. By regulating the flow of breath through the nostrils, Anuloma Viloma aims to balance the energy channels in the body, promoting overall health and well-being.

II. How does Anuloma Viloma work to balance energy channels?

According to Ayurvedic principles, the body is made up of three primary energy channels, or doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. When these doshas are in balance, the body functions optimally, and the individual experiences good health. However, imbalances in the doshas can lead to various physical and mental ailments.

Anuloma Viloma works to balance the energy channels by regulating the flow of breath through the nostrils. The left nostril is associated with the cooling energy of the moon (Ida), while the right nostril is associated with the heating energy of the sun (Pingala). By alternating between the two nostrils, Anuloma Viloma helps to harmonize the flow of energy in the body, bringing balance to the doshas.

III. What are the benefits of practicing Anuloma Viloma?

There are numerous benefits to practicing Anuloma Viloma on a regular basis. Some of the key benefits include:

1. Stress reduction: Anuloma Viloma helps to calm the mind and reduce stress and anxiety. By focusing on the breath and regulating its flow, individuals can experience a sense of relaxation and inner peace.

2. Improved respiratory function: Anuloma Viloma can help to improve lung capacity and respiratory function. By practicing this breathing technique, individuals can strengthen their respiratory muscles and increase oxygen intake.

3. Enhanced focus and concentration: Anuloma Viloma helps to clear the mind and improve focus and concentration. By bringing awareness to the breath, individuals can cultivate a sense of mindfulness and mental clarity.

4. Balancing of the doshas: Anuloma Viloma works to balance the energy channels in the body, promoting overall health and well-being. By harmonizing the flow of energy, individuals can experience a sense of equilibrium and vitality.

IV. How to practice Anuloma Viloma?

To practice Anuloma Viloma, follow these steps:

1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.
2. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale deeply through your left nostril.
3. Close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through your right nostril.
4. Inhale through your right nostril, then close it with your thumb and exhale through your left nostril.
5. Continue this alternate nostril breathing pattern for several minutes, focusing on the flow of breath and maintaining a steady rhythm.

V. When is the best time to practice Anuloma Viloma?

Anuloma Viloma can be practiced at any time of day, but it is particularly beneficial when practiced in the morning or evening. In the morning, Anuloma Viloma can help to energize the body and prepare the mind for the day ahead. In the evening, this breathing technique can help to relax the body and promote restful sleep. Experiment with different times of day to see when Anuloma Viloma works best for you.

VI. Are there any contraindications for practicing Anuloma Viloma?

While Anuloma Viloma is generally safe for most individuals, there are some contraindications to be aware of. Individuals with high blood pressure, heart disease, or respiratory conditions should consult with a healthcare provider before practicing Anuloma Viloma. Additionally, pregnant women should exercise caution when practicing this breathing technique. If you experience any discomfort or dizziness while practicing Anuloma Viloma, stop immediately and seek medical advice. As with any new practice, it is important to listen to your body and practice with awareness and caution.