Anuloma Viloma Pranayama:
Anuloma Viloma is a very powerful Pranayama practice. If incorporated into daily life it helps improve our general stamina, relax our nervous system and increase our power of concentration. When you practice Anuloma Viloma you are building vital energy in your body. It cleanses and strengthens the lungs and entire respiratory system.
Anuloma Viloma Pranayama is a component of Hatha yoga practice. The word Anu means ‘with’ and the word Loma mean ‘hair’ or ‘with the grain’ or natural. Viloma means ‘against the grain’. In other words, Anuloma is the opposite of Viloma. We get sick, when our tridoshas are not properly balanced.
Tri means three and dosha means impurities. The three types of impurities are Pitta, Kapha and Vaata. They are present in every living body and the imbalance in one or all three of these is responsible for diseases. It is necessary to have a proper balance among the doshas. The best and the simplest way to maintain the balance is by practicing Anuloma and Viloma.
The highest rate of gas exchange in the lungs occurs during retention (holding the breath). Due to the increased pressure, more oxygen goes from the lungs into the blood and more carbon dioxide (and other waste products) pass from the blood into the lungs to be eliminated during exhalation. Exhalation being twice the time of inhalation, stale air and waste products are drained from the lungs.
The ratio is 1:4:2. Inhale for one count, hold your breath for 4 counts and exhale for 2 counts.
There are other benefits to be considered. Valuable nutrients are formed during retention. This way, you will not need to take any dietary supplements. Doing six full rounds of Anuloma Viloma is like taking a capsule of multivitamins every day. It helps you stay healthy and fit.
When having a blocked nose, do not do the retention. Instead, inhale to the count of 4 and exhale through the alternate nostril for 8 counts. Inhale through the same nostril for 4 counts and exhale through alternate nostril for 8 counts.