Anuloma Viloma – A Safe and Relaxing Pranayama

What is Anuloma Viloma?

In English, Anuloma Viloma means going forwards and backwards by the same path. It is a pranayama, or put simply, a breathing exercise. In contrast to Kapalabhati, which should be avoided by those pregnant, menstruating or suffering from hypertension, Anuloma Viloma can be done by anyone.


How to Perform Anuloma Viloma

Sit comfortably, in Padmasan or cross-legged. 

Hold the right hand in Vishnu Mudra, and rest the left hand in Chin Mudra on the left thigh.

To energise oneself during the daytime, start inhaling with the right nostril by closing the left nostril with the ring finger of the right hand.

To prepare for a restful sleep in the nighttime, start inhaling with the left nostril instead by closing the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand.

Inhale for 6 seconds, close the nostril, open the other nostril, exhale for 12 seconds.

Do not hold the breath in this process. Repeat for at least 20 rounds.

Increase the lengths of inhalation and exhalation gradually.

If suffering from a blocked nostril, perform Jala Neti or other nose cleansing methods before Anuloma Viloma.


The Mudras in Anuloma Viloma

Vishnu Mudra, the preservation mudra, is done on the RIGHT hand.

The ring and little fingers should be held close together without a gap in between. This is actually not so easy for everyone due to varying joint mobility.

Chin Mudra is done on the left hand. When held on the left hand for at least 15 minutes, the Chin Mudra relieves pain.


Observations during Practice of Anuloma Viloma

As we have been practising holding of the breath for 1 to 2 minutes after a full yogic breath, the lengths of our inhalation and exhalation have increased. Hence practising Anuloma Viloma has become less taxing for us as a class. This is also evident in the length of our Om chanting, which seems to be lengthening gradually. Yes, breathing can be trained indeed.

As a person who gets anxious easily, I am looking forward to learn more about pranayama and mudras for calming the mind and body down.


– Teo Zhe Hui (TCC 200h, Sep 2017)