How to practice Anulom Vilom?
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- TATA AIG Team
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Breathing exercises, called Pranayama, are a crucial part of yoga practice. Prana in Sanskrit means life or energy, and Ayam means control or expansion, together referring to the practice of controlling breath. Religions like Hinduism and Buddhism also promote Pranayama as a spiritual practice.
The importance of yoga in these modern times cannot be ignored, and, therefore, if you also want to start your journey to a healthy lifestyle, Anulom Vilom is your first step.
To help you embark on your journey towards a healthy life, this blog introduces you to the Anulom Vilom meaning, steps, benefits, and much more.
What is Anulom Vilom Pranayama
Anulom in Sanskrit means ‘in a natural order,’ and Vilom means ‘in the reverse order.’ Together, Anulom and Vilom mean breathe in and breathe out. The goal of this practice is to centre our focus on our breath, balance our thoughts, and energise our bodies.
Breathing techniques in yoga have gained immense popularity in recent times. Many have started recognising these techniques as alternate methods to treat their ailments. Because of the popularity of the pranayama techniques, several studies have been conducted to understand the psychological and physiological impact of Yoga and Pranayama.
Research shows that practising Anulom Vilom Pranayama for six weeks reduces anxiety, improves cognition and general well-being, and increases parasympathetic activity. However, for more sustainable long-term results, learning the right technique is important.
Step by Step Anulom Vilom Procedure
According to Patanjali yoga, the right nostril represents solar energy or masculine energy, the left nostril represents feminine energy or lunar energy, and Prana flows through the centre of these two nostrils. Following the right technique for Anulom Vilom Pranayama helps in balancing all three energy centres.
Here are the Anulom Vilom Pranayama steps you should follow:
Sit in Padmasana or lotus pose
Straighten your spine
Gently close your eyes
Fold the middle and index fingers of your right hand and bring them to your nose.
Close your right nostril with the thumb of your right hand and gently place your ring finger on your left nostril.
Slowly inhale with your left nostril.
Once your lungs are full, close your left nostril.
Hold your breath for as long as you can.
Close your left nostril and gently move your thumb.
Exhale with your right nostril.
Now repeat the steps 5-10 while inhaling with your right nostril and exhaling with your left nostril.
Note: For better results, repeat the breathing cycles for at least 3-5 minutes.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama Benefits
The main Anulom Vilom yoga benefits you can enjoy are:
The systematic inhalation and exhalation during Anulom Vilom regulates the blood supply to the brain and regulates the thoughts and activities happening in the brain, resulting in calming the mind, reducing stress, and inducing a sense of relaxation.
Enhances Lung Functions
Regular practice of this Pranayama technique increases lung capacity and improves respiratory efficiency, aiding in managing chronic conditions like asthma.
Balances Nervous System
Anulom Vilom Pranayama harmonises the functioning of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, promoting overall equilibrium.
Regular practice of Anulom Vilom Pranayama increases the oxygen supply to the brain and helps in improving focus and concentration and boosting cognitive abilities.
Deep and systematic breathing facilitates the removal of toxins from the body and purifies the blood.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Controlled breathing regulates blood pressure and supports cardiovascular health by promoting healthy blood circulation.
Strengthens Immune System
The Anulom Vilom Pranayama reinforces the immune system and makes the body more resilient against illnesses.
Improves Emotional Wellbeing
The calming effects of Anulom Vilom Pranayama helps in managing emotional fluctuations, fostering a sense of inner peace and stability.
Practising Anulom Vilom Pranayama regularly helps in alleviating and managing menstrual pains, cramps, and migraine headaches.
Regular practice of Anulom Vilom Pranayama calms your body and regulates your stress levels. The calming effect of this practice helps in regulating hormone secretion, benefiting those with hormonal imbalances.
Practising Anulom Vilom regularly improves memory and helps you retain information for longer periods of time.
In a Nutshell
The Anulom Vilom Pranayama, an ancient yogic breathing technique, is known to have a profound influence on the mind and body. Following the right pranayama techniques helps you reap maximum benefits.
Further, the benefits of Anulom Vilom Pranayama extend to other areas of your life too! By reducing your stress levels, this practice improves your focus and concentration, giving you a sense of tranquillity and inner peace.
While yoga practices can help in building a healthier mind and body, in today’s fast-paced world, one must always be prepared to face the adversities of life. And that is where it is fitting to consider having good health insurance along with a healthy lifestyle.
With our Tata AIG medical insurance plans, you can get comprehensive coverage that is within your budget. It is advisable to compare health insurance to ensure that you get the best possible coverage per your insurance needs and budget.
How many times should Anulom Vilom be done in a day?
Ideally, you must perform Anulom Vilom Pranayama at least 60 times, spaced throughout the day. However, you can start with 3-5 minutes in a day.
Who should avoid Anulom Vilom?
While there is no evidence on the harmful effects of Anulom Vilom Pranayama, those using medication for asthma or blood pressure must consult a registered medical practitioner before starting the practice.
Is 5 minutes of Anulom Vilom enough?
Yes. The ideal duration for Anulom Vilom Pranayama is 5-10 minutes.
Is it OK to do Anulom Vilom at night?
Yes. Anulom Vilom Pranayama can be practised at night. It gives a calming and sedative effect on the body and helps you sleep better.
What will happen if I do Anulom Vilom daily?
Practising Anulom Vilom Pranayama every day for 5-10 minutes results in improved emotional and physical well-being.
What is the best time to do Anulom Vilom Pranayama?
The best time to practise Anulom Vilom Pranayama is first thing in the morning or just before sleep.
What are the benefits of kapalbhati and anulom vilom pranayama?
Practising Kapalbhati helps eliminate digestive and gastric issues such as constipation, heartburn, gaseousness, etc., while Anulom Vilom helps improve your physical and psychological health.
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