Breathing exercises like Pranayama not only enhance physical health but also relax the mind, thereby promoting overall well-being. It is also believed that this breathing technique enables individuals to balance the tridoshas (three types of nature) –vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas often lead to a myriad of health issues. Which is why it is beneficial to improve one’s ability to control their breathing.
Demonstrating the same, Anshuka Parwani, a celebrity yoga instructor took to Instagram to share the practice of Anulom Vilom Pranayama for beginners. “Anulom Vilom is a type of Pranayama or controlled breathing method. It follows a technique of alternate nostril breathing and has many benefits,” she wrote in the caption.
Take a look.
Further, she added that the best time to practice this pranayama is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or before going to bed, as it helps relax the body.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama is also called as Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing). “It is the practice of inhaling through both nostrils together and exhaling each breath alternately between the left and right nostrils. The thumb of the right hand is used to manipulate the right nostril, while the pinky and ring finger are used to control the left nostril,” said Jiggayasa Gupta, nutrition and fitness coach, FITTR.
Anu roughly translates to ‘with’ and Loma means hair implying ‘with the grain’ or ‘natural’, and sometimes may be called ‘following the grain’. It is the opposite of Viloma Pranayama which means against the grain.
*Sit in Sukhasana or Padmasana with your hands resting on your knees.
*Fold the middle and index fingers of your right hand toward the palm. Only the right hand is used in this practice.
*Breathe with the left nostril and close the right one with the right thumb and inhale slowly to fill up air in your lungs. It is important you place your hands the right way.
*Now, exhale slowly from the right nostril.
*Repeat at least for five minutes, close to 60 breaths.
Here are the benefits of performing this Pranayama, according to the expert:
*It helps to reduce stress and anxiety
*Improves respiratory function, strengthens and enhances lung capacity, and increases oxygen supply to the body
*Improves heart health
*Enhances concentration, focus, and performance
However, Gupta noted that people with high blood pressure and acute asthma should avoid performing this. “Pregnant women and people with rheumatoid arthritis should practice this Pranayama under expert supervision.”