anulom vilom

Anulom Vilom | Health Benefits | Method

Anulom Vilom also known as the “Alternate Breathing Technique” is a kind of Pranayama in which we have to inhale and exhale with alternative nostrils. To cover the right nostril thumb of the right hand is used and to cover the left nostril ring finger of the right hand is used.


Anulom Vilom is a popular ‘Pranayama’ of “Hatha Yoga” to calm the mind, relieve stress, and uplift mood. Let’s hop into the terminology, their meaning will make things easy.

Pranayama – “Prana” means breathe (vital energy of the body) and “Ayama” means regulation which makes its’ meaning regulation of breath.

Hatha Yoga – Hatha means forcefully. Hatha Yoga is a set of yoga asanas designed to improve the structure and coordination of skin, mind, and body.

Another meaning of Hatha, Ha means ‘sun’ and that means ‘moon’, which combine means uniting the opposites.

Anulom – Anulom means ‘natural’ or ‘with the grain’.

Vilom – Vilom means ‘against the grain’. [1]urban company

How to do “Anulom Vilom”

  • Sit comfortably and fold both the legs in a silent and clean environment.
  • The back and neck must be straight throughout the yoga practice.
  • Place the left hand on your knee.
  • Use the right hand and place the ring finger of that hand on the left nostril and the thumb of the right hand on the right nostril.
  • Next, close your right nostril with the help thumb of your right hand and inhale deeply and slowly.
  • After that close the left nostril with the ring finger of the right hand and exhale through the right nostril.
  • Repeat the same with alternative nostrils.
  • Close the left nostril with the ring finger of the right hand and inhale.
  • Close the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand and exhale. [2]

While you are doing this you will hear the sound of friction of air. That sound should come from the upper part of the throat instead of the nostril.

That sound must be pleasurable to you, do it slow and deep, focus on the breath, and let you lost in the process.

Health Benefits of Anulom Vilom:

There are many benefits of “Anulom Vilom”. It has a soothing effect on the mind. It reduces stress and uplifts the mood.

If you do it properly (as above mentioned steps), it gives immediate calm to mind and body which helps to give a fresh and calm start to the day.

And if you are doing it in the late evening, it will help to get better sleep, but don’t do it just after the full meal waits for at least 4 hours.

On Respiratory System

Alternative Breathe Technique definitely helps to improve the respiratory system.

Once a study happened in which the National and International level of swimmers of age range between 13 years to 20 years participated.

They were divided into two groups, one who is doing ‘yogic practice’ and another who is not doing that.

As a result (after 30 days) those who were doing “Yogic Practice” were found to have better vital lung capacity, stroke per capacity, and endurance.

The yogic group used to do ‘yoga practice’ for half an hour five days a week for one month.

On Cardiovascular Strength

‘Anulom Vilom’ has a significant impact on cardiovascular strength.

study happened in which people were divided into two groups. One group is doing ‘Pranayama’ regularly and taking medicine under the supervision for 3 months while the group was just taking medicine.

As a result, it was found that the group which was doing ‘Pranayam’ have significant low systolic blood pressure (pressure in arteries when the heart beats), diastolic blood pressure (pressure in arteries when the heart rests between beats), and heart rate.

On Brain and Mental Health

Alternative Breathing benefits the brain. It helps to reduce stress and calm the brain. Regulation of breathing in this technique helps to achieve mental peace.

Its calming and soothing effect on the mind and body helps to reduce anxiety and stress. Thus, it is great to reduce stress and anxiety.

Do it in the late evening on empty stomach, it will help to sleep better.

It is highly beneficial for those who are old aged as it improves cognitive function (logical, memory, and analytical) and memory.[3]

On Skin

It benefits the skin in many ways – it reduces the likelihood of acne, rashes, and inflammation. Skin health is also affected by stress levels.

If a person is taking too much stress it affects skin quality badly, causes acne, causes wrinkle, and creates many other skin-related issues.

Anulom Vilom helps to reduce stress and thus helps to improve skin quality.

On Eyes

“Anulom Vilom” helps to increase eyesight not directly. But indirectly, eye health depends on the oxygen supply and it helps to supply proper oxygen-rich blood to the eyes.

On Physique

Alternate breathing helps reduce weight. Stress is a very crucial factor in weight gain. It increases the stress level and cortisol level which increases the feeling of having junk food.

 It helps to keep a check on stress and thus indirectly helps in weight loss.[4]

During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is pretty common to have stress, anxiety, and mood swings. At this time, these things can create a problem. Anulom Vilom at this time will help to reduce stress and improve mental peace.[5]

An expert will give you better advice on what to do in this case.

Anulom Vilom – Precautions:

  • Sit in a comfortable and silent environment, there should be no disturbance for you. Because of this the best time to do “anulom vilom” is morning as the air is clean and less disturbance in the morning.
  • Do it on empty stomach, weight for at least 4 hours after having a full meal to do alternate breathe technique.
  • Keep your neck and spine straight throughout the practice.
  • Although this is not a precaution, keep in mind, that sound created due to the friction must come from the upper part of the throat instead of the nostrils.
  • Don’t go beyond your capacity.

Safety Questions

Anulom Vilom is safe if done under the guidance of an expert.

If you are pregnant it is advisable to consult your doctor regarding this.

Don’t go beyond your limit as it may create some issues.

If you are experiencing pain during this activity consult a doctor.

Beginners must do it under expert supervision.

Key Take-Aways

Anulom Vilom has numerals health benefits and it is easy to do too. But don’t forget the precautions and do it in proper form.

Since you do this regularly then you will observe that you are more relax and calm now.

Stay safe and stay healthy!


This article provides general information only. It would be better if you consult an expert. It is not a substitute for an expert at all.

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