How to Practice Anulom Vilom Breathing

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Anulom Vilom, also known as Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a powerful yogic breathing technique that has been practiced for centuries.

It involves breathing through alternate nostrils, allowing for balance and harmony within the body and mind.


This ancient practice offers a multitude of benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving respiratory functions and enhancing overall well-being.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the art of Anulom Vilom breathing, exploring its technique, benefits, and how to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Understanding Anulom Vilom Breathing:

Anulom Vilom originates from the Sanskrit words “Anu” meaning ‘with,’ “Loma” meaning ‘hair,’ and “Vilom” meaning ‘against.’

Together, they signify the act of breathing in a controlled, rhythmic manner, alternating between the nostrils.

This technique is deeply rooted in the principles of Pranayama, the yogic science of breath control.

The primary aim of Anulom Vilom breathing is to balance the flow of Prana, or life force energy, through the nadis, the subtle energy channels in the body according to yogic philosophy.

By regulating the breath through alternate nostrils, practitioners seek to harmonize the body’s energy, promoting physical and mental equilibrium.

Benefits of Anulom Vilom Breathing:

The benefits of Anulom Vilom breathing are numerous and far-reaching.

Regular practice can yield significant improvements in both physical and mental health. Some of the key benefits include:

Stress Reduction:

Anulom Vilom breathing induces a state of deep relaxation, activating the parasympathetic nervous system and reducing the production of stress hormones like cortisol.

Improved Respiratory Function:

The controlled breathing pattern of Anulom Vilom enhances lung capacity, strengthens respiratory muscles, and increases oxygenation of the blood, leading to improved overall respiratory function.

Enhanced Mental Clarity:

By balancing the flow of energy in the body, Anulom Vilom helps clear the mind, sharpen focus, and improve cognitive function, promoting mental clarity and alertness.

Emotional Balance:

This breathing technique calms the mind, soothes emotional turbulence, and fosters a sense of inner peace and emotional stability.

Boosted Immunity:

Regular practice of Anulom Vilom strengthens the immune system by promoting better circulation, detoxification, and oxygenation of cells, thus enhancing the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

Regulation of Blood Pressure:

Anulom Vilom breathing has been shown to help regulate blood pressure by inducing relaxation and reducing stress-related hypertension.


The rhythmic breathing pattern of Anulom Vilom facilitates the removal of toxins and impurities from the body, promoting detoxification and rejuvenation at the cellular level.

Technique of Anulom Vilom Breathing:

Now, let’s explore the step-by-step technique of practicing Anulom Vilom breathing:

Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position on the floor or in a chair with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.

Place your left hand on your left knee in Chin Mudra (index finger and thumb touching), and your right hand in Vishnu Mudra (fold the index and middle fingers toward your palm, leaving the thumb, ring finger, and pinky extended).

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to center yourself.

Exhale completely through both nostrils to empty the lungs.

Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly and deeply through your left nostril to a count of four.

Feel the breath fill your lungs completely.

Close your left nostril with your right ring finger, release your thumb from your right nostril, and exhale slowly and completely through your right nostril to a count of eight.

Ensure that the exhalation is longer than the inhalation.

Inhale deeply through your right nostril to a count of four.

Feel the breath fill your lungs with fresh oxygen.

Close your right nostril with your right thumb, release your ring finger from your left nostril, and exhale slowly and completely through your left nostril to a count of eight.

This completes one round of Anulom Vilom breathing.

Continue alternating between nostrils, maintaining the ratio of inhalation to exhalation (1:2), and ensuring smooth, steady breaths.

Aim to practice for 5-10 minutes initially, gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable with the technique.

Tips for Practicing Anulom Vilom Breathing:

To enhance your Anulom Vilom practice and maximize its benefits, consider the following tips:

Start Slowly:

If you’re new to Anulom Vilom breathing, begin with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as your comfort level and proficiency improve.

Focus on Rhythm:

Pay close attention to the rhythm of your breath, ensuring smooth, steady inhalations and exhalations. Aim for a consistent count during each phase of the breath cycle.

Maintain Awareness:

Stay present and mindful throughout your practice, observing the sensation of the breath as it moves in and out of your body. Let go of distractions and cultivate a sense of inner awareness.

Be Gentle:

Approach Anulom Vilom breathing with gentleness and patience.

Avoid forcing the breath or straining the nostrils.

Allow the breath to flow naturally and effortlessly.

Practice Regularly:

Consistency is key to reaping the full benefits of Anulom Vilom breathing. Aim to practice daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to establish a regular routine and deepen your experience over time.

Incorporating Anulom Vilom Breathing into Your Daily Routine:

Integrating Anulom Vilom breathing into your daily routine can have profound effects on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Here are some suggestions for incorporating this practice into your daily life:

Morning Ritual:

Start your day with a few minutes of Anulom Vilom breathing to set a positive tone for the day ahead.

This can help you feel energized, focused, and emotionally balanced.

Midday Reset:

Take a brief break during the day to practice Anulom Vilom breathing, especially during times of stress or overwhelm.

It can help you reset and regain clarity and composure.

Evening Relaxation:

Wind down in the evening with a calming Anulom Vilom session to release tension, quiet the mind, and prepare for restful sleep.

Combine with Asanas:

Pair Anulom Vilom breathing with your yoga asana practice to deepen your awareness, enhance relaxation, and facilitate a deeper mind-body connection.

Stressful Situations:

Use Anulom Vilom breathing as a tool to cope with stressful situations or challenging emotions.

It can help you stay centered, grounded, and resilient in the face of adversity.


Anulom Vilom breathing offers a simple yet powerful way to cultivate balance, harmony, and vitality in your life.

By incorporating this ancient yogic practice into your daily routine, you can experience a profound transformation in your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Whether you’re seeking stress relief, improved respiratory function, or enhanced mental clarity, Anulom Vilom breathing provides a pathway to inner peace and holistic health.

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