Most people who have been doing yoga are also aware of the basics of pranayama breathing techniques, and among them the Anulom-Vilom method of alternate nostril breathing. It is said that Swami Kripalu was deeply convinced of the importance of this breathing technique and recommended all yogis to practice it.
Over time, several benefits of this technique become evident. To gain the maximum benefit, you must make sure that you perform Anulom-Vilom correctly and regularly; for the duration that your instructor recommends (could be between 3 to 20 minutes depending upon your requirement). When you do Anulom-Vilom for over one month you may start to notice certain subtle and noticeable changes such as these:
Improvement in asthma, allergies – The breathing technique helps to keep the nasal passages clear, and doing Anulom-Vilom regularly helps both nostrils function optimally. Many practitioners find that this helps with their allergies – in terms of frequency as well as severity of allergic attacks. Asthma sufferers may also find that their condition improves over time. Overall people also find that their immunity to coughs, colds and upper respiratory tract infections becomes stronger. Headaches, sinus issues and troublesome ear problems may also be eased to a significant extent.
Improved circulation / oxygenation – Anulom-Vilom teaches us the proper way to breathe – deeply and consciously. This helps us breathe in oxygen more efficiently and that oxygen is then supplied to all the body’s organs. When each organ is properly oxygenated it functions more efficiently and is less prone to disease. Some experts also believe that this breathing technique can help people with heart disease or hypertension manage their condition and perhaps even reduce their dosage of medications over time.
Balancing the ‘doshas’ – Anulom-Vilom can also help to balance the doshas of the body; i.e. vata, kapha and pitta. This can help in subtle as well as noticeable ways, and can ease symptoms of problems such as gas, constipation, indigestion, and even chronic conditions such as arthritis and so on.
Improving the mood – Pranayam breathing techniques, yoga and meditation are all seen to help a person relax and reduce stress. This helps manage feelings of anger and discontentment, improves the mood and can even help stave off problems such as depression and anxiety.
Enhanced wellness – Anulom-Vilom is thought to help improve concentration and learning processes. Students as well as working adults find that it can improve memory and performance of tasks, when they perform pranayama properly and regularly. The body’s metabolism also becomes faster and this in turn helps to keep weight under control.
There is an overall feeling of wellness and positivity as a result of performing these breathing exercises regularly and properly. The important thing is to do each breathing exercise properly and to concentrate upon what you’re doing. Be regular and consistent with your Anulom-Vilom and other pranayama exercises. If you begin doing these today, you may be quite surprised at the small and big changes you notice in your health and wellbeing in just a month!