How Pranayama helps improving respiratory system​

Yogic breathing "pranayama" is known for improving our health, physically and mentally. There are many kinds of pranayama exists, and Anuloma-viloma - one of the pranayama has amazing benefit for developing your respiratory system.

What is Pranayama?

Prana: Life energy
Ayama: Regulation

Pranayama is considered as the main component of Yoga. In Sanskrit, “Prana “(prāṇa (प्राण)) means life energy or life force. Prana is also known as Chi (氣, ) in Chinese, and Ki (気) in Japanese. And “Ayama” means regulated expansion and control. 

Together, “Pranayama” means as yogic energy regulation practice.  

Pranayama is said to have so many physical and mental benefits and allow us to heal and achieve our human well-being.

Physical practice of poses (asana practice) is known by a lot of people as “Yoga” but it is just an one part of it. This breathing exercise pranayama is as… or more important than the asana practice itself.

There are many types of pranayama, however, pranayama is very simple; inhale (puraka), exhale (recaka) and some of the advanced pranayama includes retention (kumbaka).

Anuloma-Viloma (Alternative Nostril Breathing Ⅱ)

One of the most basic, yet powerful pranayama, Anuloma-Viloma (Alternative Nostril Breathing Ⅱ) is highly recommended for those who wants to improve respiratory systems and cardiovascular systems, and also good for asthma problems. It is also said to help reducing stress. 

How to practice Anuloma-Viloma pranayama?

Here’s a step by step guide of Anuloma-Viloma pranayama practice:

  1. Sit still and quietly in a comfortable position. Spine straight. Allow you eyes to be closed gently 
  2. Using your right hand, and fold your middle and index finger inside the palm
  3. Place your thumb on your right nostril and, ring and pinky fingers on your left nostril
  4. Close your right nostril with your thumb, and inhale through your left nostril. Inhale all the way to your stomach
  5. Release your thumb and close your left nostril with your ring and pinky fingers. Exhale fully 
  6. Inhale from the right nostril 
  7. Exhale from the left nostril
  8. Inhale from the left nostril
  9. Repeat…

* In this Anuloma-Viloma pranayama, it is important to start inhaling from the left nose to achieve the benefit from this practice
* Make sure to practice this on and empty stomach – highly recommended to practice before waking

Benefits of Anuloma-Viloma pranayama

There are so many benefits by practicing Anuloma-Viloma pranayama and here are a few of many of them;

  • Enhance respiratory system
  • Improve sinus inflammation
  • Enhance lung function
  • Improvement of anxiety
  • Positive impact on cardiovascular system
  • Lower blood pressure and heat late
  • Good for skin
  • Reduce stress

Take away

  1.  Although Asana (pose) practice is known as Yoga by a lot of people,  Pranayama also plays a huge part in Yoga
  2. There are many kinds of Pranayama, and it enhances our physical and mental health
  3. Anuloma-Viloma pranayama helps improving your respiratory system as well as other benefits for your overall health