We have heard of Yoga a million times and as we delve into the various facets of its philosophy we notice that one thing which binds them all together is the notion of ‘Prana’. Prana is a Sanskrit word for what is known as ‘life force’ and is believed to be the energy that vitalizes all matter, whether animate or inanimate. Under the Yogic philosophy, every little cell of all that exists on the surface of Earth (and probably beyond) is an extension of Prana. If we take living beings for example, it is this very force that allows them to perform all the vital functions and allows them to sustain the test of life. One of the most common and known phenomenon often used in the place of prana is the act of breathing. The act of breathing allows a simultaneous movement of prana. Almost all yoga poses focus on the controlling of this breath in order to exercise an influence over the flow of prana. If you read the scriptures you’d see that Yoga lays a considerable amount of emphasis on this notion and the main aim of all sorts of Yogic lifestyle is to keep this life force functioning in the most effective way possible, for ‘life’ is a boon and one must never take it for granted.
One of the ways to keep the play of prana in your body activated is the regular practice of a breathing exercise known as AnulomVilom. It controls the Pranic energies and allows it to flow from two specific channels or nadis which are called ‘ida’ and ‘pingala’. The exercise has a myriad of benefits from cleaning the whole of your nervous system to have significant positive impacts on your life expectancy. Without any further digressions, let’s delve right into ‘all things positive’ about AnulomVilom.
How to do it
- Begin by sitting in a position for meditation such as Padmasana and make sure that you keep your back straight.
- Use your right thumb to block your right nostril and inhale from your left nostril for a second or two.
- Block both of your nostrils and hold your breath up to the count of 4. Then keep your left nostril blocked and exhale from the right nostril.
- Now, block your left nostril and inhale from your right nostril. Block both of the nostrils and hold your breath for a few seconds. Block your right nostril and exhale from your left one.
- Repeat this cycle over and over for up to 10 times and as you proceed, try holding your breath for longer durations.
- Once you are done with all the rounds, take a deep breath and relax.
Best time and place to do it
It will be extremely beneficial if you practice this exercise early in the morning, or whenever you begin your day. Early morning is the best time, since this is the perfect time to breathe in the freshest air of the day. Keeping that in mind, it will work wonders if you practice somewhere outside, preferably on fresh grass. The experts have often suggested that one should practice this on an empty stomach. If you wish to get a more professional assistance or want yourself to understand it better and become a pro yourself, you can sign up for Yoga Teacher Training in Goa. They have some of the best programs to get you going.
Benefits of Anulom Vilom
- The practice of this exercise involves a lot of core activity. A regular practice of it will help you burn down all the extra fat accumulation in your body. It also keeps a control on weight gain and reduces obesity.
- This breathing exercise will help you push out all the negative thoughts out of your mind and will allow you to cultivate nothing but positive vibe. This in turn will help you push away all the unnecessary stress and anxiety. Patients with depression can also practice this exercise to speed up their recovery.
- As breathing opens various energy channels or nadis, it assists in the proper flow of your food and an affective processing of it in order to keep your digestive system clear.
- Breathing helps a great deal in regenerating your brain cells. It allows more oxygen to reach your brain which makes it more focused and active. If you practice this asana regularly, it will help you develop your concentration power and thus will improve your general productivity.
- In this growing age of pollution, a lot of people suffer from the problems of sinusitis. A regular practice of Anulom Vilom will open up your air passage to allow the smooth flow of the air and will always keep your nose tract open and clear thus avoiding any kind of discomfort caused by blockage. This helps a great deal to those with the problem of snoring.
- One of the most important things that all Yoga asanas, especially the breathing exercises, do is that they provide you mental peace and mindfulness and so does Anulom Vilom. A regular practice of it will help you connect to yourself better, making you fully aware of your physical as well as spiritual existence. It helps in creating a significantly powerful energy within you which will not only create a balance between your mind, body and soul, but will also consistently revitalize your ‘life force’ or prana.
A healthy tomorrow comes only with a healthy present. Go Yoga today!
About the author
Bipin Baloni is a yoga teacher from India and his core specialization is in Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. He organizes 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh and Yoga Retreats in Nepal. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda and Health.