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Anulom-Vilom Pranayama


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Anulom-Vilom Pranayama: How to do it?


Now we come to the next pranayama technique which is named as anulom vilom Pranayama. The name has two distinct words which refer to the two nostrils, the right nostril, and the left nostril. This pranayama technique translates to alternate nostril breathing and is among the most practiced and recommended pranayama techniques among the various techniques we would come to know. Let us have a deeper look into this pranayama technique. In the same comfortable and still seated position we first check for our clear air passages before we go on ahead. Next, using any of our hands either the right one or the left we can either use the two mid fingers to close one nostril while the thumb is used for closing the other nostril respectively.

In other words, if you are using your right hand then the two mid fingers are used to close the left nostril while the thumb is used to close the right nostril. This way we use your hands either left or right and control the opening of either nostril as we wish. Next, we first keep open one nostril while the other nostril is kept closed for the start of inhalation. Likewise, we inhale with this one open nostril and let our lungs fill completely comfortably and as per the pace of breath, the body can without any special effort. Once inhaled completely and no more air can be drawn in we close the open nostril slowly and then slowly open the other nostril which was closed during inhalation. Now through this other nostril, we start exhaling once again comfortably and as per the pace of breath, the body can exhale without special effort.

Exhalation continues until no more air can be exhaled. Once empty taking a very short pause we start inhaling from the same nostril in a similar manner as earlier and until no more breath can be inhaled. Once inhaled and no more breath can be taken by the body we slowly close this nostril and slowly open the alternate nostril reaching back to the nostril from where we started our breathing cycle. Now as we did earlier we again continue to exhale in the similar comfortable and effortless manner as we did and once no more air can be exhaled one complete cycle of alternate nostril breathing is completed since we reached back to the nostril from where we started.

This way anulom-vilom or alternate nostril breathing is accomplished in one cycle. And we can continue with the next cycle in a similar manner as we observe and feel that inhalation and exhalation both continue to become deeper and deeper as well as more and more extended incapacity. The practitioner also experiences the tendency of holding the breath once inhaled as well as holding the breathing process once exhaled as the practice progresses. This extension and enhancement of all minute processes of breathing make this pranayama one of the key Pranayama techniques known to practitioners. Hence, an extension of this very pranayama has also been known as NADI SHODHAN Pranayam which purifies and cleanses the nerve channels and also the practitioner as a whole.




Written By: Yogi Kunwar Vikramaditya Singh Ji


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