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Anulom Vilom - Benefits and Risks

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4 min read


Anulom vilom, commonly known as alternating nostril breathing, is one of the most important breathing techniques in yoga.

Written by

Dr. Saranya. P

Medically reviewed by

Shakti Mishra

Published At June 1, 2023
Reviewed AtFebruary 20, 2024


Yoga is well known to provide several advantages. Yoga has often been shown to be beneficial for a number of issues ranging from reducing stress to maintaining fitness. And yoga can pretty much accomplish everything! Anulom vilom is one of the breathing techniques used in the practice. It is a completely risk-free alternative breathing method with no adverse effects. The fundamental yoga pose known as anulom vilom can be instrumental in paving the way to great health.

What Is Anulom Vilom?

Anulom vilom pranayama is regarded as the most effective technique for easing tension, anxiety, and other mental pressures. It alleviates all tensions. Anulom vilom pranayama has numerous advantages because it may treat a wide range of serious medical conditions, including asthma, depression, migraines, high blood pressure, arthritis, and many more.

Anulom vilom is a type of yoga pranayama, which involves controlled breathing. It requires closing one nostril during inhalation and the other during expiration. The procedure is then repeated in reverse. It is a variant of breathing through alternate nostrils. Alternate nostril breathing is said to provide numerous psychological and physical advantages, including:

  • Better breathing.

  • Improved cardiovascular performance.

  • Lowering of tension.

How Is the Anulom Vilom Pranayama Exercise Done?

Breathing exercises like anulom vilom should be done on an empty stomach, ideally four hours after eating. A cool, tranquil environment would be beneficial. The steps are as follows:

  • Choose a sitting meditation position. Keep the eyes closed while maintaining a straight neck and spine.

  • Empty the mind of all thoughts other than the present moment.

  • Place the outside wrists on the knees as the first step.

  • Fold the middle and index fingers of the right hand toward the palm.

  • Place the ring finger in the left nostril and the thumb in the right.

  • Use the thumb to cover the right nostril and take a slow, deep breath through the left nostril until the lungs are full. Breathe deeply and deliberately.

  • Then let go of the thumb and seal the left nostril using the ring finger.

  • Exhale slowly through the right nostril.

  • Reverse the procedure, breathing in through the right nostril and exhaling through the left.

During the procedure, be aware of breathing and how it affects the body and mind. Try it for the first one to two minutes. It may feel strange at first, so limit doing it as long as one feels comfortable.

What Are the Benefits of Anulom Vilom?

  1. Ensures Sufficient Rest: Better sleep helps people wake up more refreshed, which makes it easier for them to carry out their daily tasks. When people frequently practice anulom vilom pranayama, their sleep schedule changes significantly. The mind and body are calm and the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated.

  2. Clear, Glowing Skin: This breathing exercise can aid in blood purification, and as blood oxygenation increases, one's skin breathes more deeply, giving a healthy glow.

  3. Improves Mood: Anulom vilom improves concentration and aids in controlling rage. Regular use of this asana makes one happier, calmer, and more at ease.

  4. Aids In Migraine Relief: Anulom vilom is the most beneficial yoga pose for treating migraines. Doing this for as little as 15 minutes each day can help lessen or manage the pain and headaches associated with migraines by lowering stress and tension.

  5. Strengthens the Lungs: It does this by liberating the toxic gas that has been trapped there and by regaining the health of the lungs. Also, it improves and increases the lungs' overall strength. Smokers who practice this pranayama can heal their lungs and regain their strength.

  6. Alleviates Breathing Problems: The practice of anulom vilom should always be done by people who have breathing problems, such as difficulty breathing or heavy breathing. It enhances breathing and enables oxygen to fill the lungs.

  7. Improves Certain Health Disorders: Regulated breathing helps treat a wide range of illnesses, including asthma, allergic reactions, snoring, constipation, gastric acidity, cardiovascular health, and many more. If people practice this asana every day, they will see a significant improvement if they suffer from any of these issues.

  8. Supports Mental Relaxation: The anulom vilom breathing technique reduces stress, fosters mental stability, soothes the mind, avoids anxiety and sadness, and improves mood.

  9. Helps With Blood Pressure: In people with high blood pressure (hypertension) and cardiac issues brought on by artery narrowing, the breathing exercise may considerably drop blood pressure. It lessens peripheral blood vessel resistance and neuronal processes linked to adrenalin, a hormone that the body releases in response to stressful, exciting, or dangerous situations. It thereby helps to rebalance the autonomic nervous system.

  10. Enhances The Vision: Research on anulom vilom's breathing and vision is scant. Nonetheless, it is widely known that healthy eyes require a certain amount of oxygen. Because alternate nostril breathing has been shown to improve cardiovascular and pulmonary health, it may also be beneficial to the eyes.

  11. Anulom Vilom's Cholesterol Advantages: Exercise can help lower artery obstruction and the danger of a heart attack. Moreover, it lowers levels of harmful cholesterol while promoting healthy cholesterol levels.

  12. Enhances Hair Growth: Anulom Vilom's advantages include healthier hair. This easy exercise reduces stress and helps with despair and anxiety, two important contributors to hair loss. Also, it revitalizes the body and aids in tissue activation. It makes the scalp healthier and gives thicker, shinier hair.

  13. Pregnancy Benefits: Yoga in the early stages of pregnancy might have various health benefits for both the mother and the baby. Anulom Vilom enhances general mental health and helps to create a stress-free environment, both of which are good for the health of the expectant mother and her unborn child.

What Are the Risks of Anulom Vilom?

There are no known risks or adverse effects associated with anulom vilom. Nevertheless, there is no common manner for people to do it, hence the data regarding anulom vilom varies. Numerous studies advise finding a certified yoga instructor so that people can discover how to practice yoga safely and successfully. This could also assist them in maximizing the advantages of this traditional yoga practice. The additional practice of anulom vilom could be beneficial for managing health and a sense of well-being. However, users should not take it as the sole course of treatment if they are trying to address a serious condition.


Anulom vilom pranayama is an effective yoga therapy for a variety of ailments. By including this yogic breathing technique into one's daily routine, one can improve their overall health due to its many advantages for the body and mind. Individuals can either take aid from various audio-visual aides or book and practice on their own or take lessons from a qualified yoga teacher. Aulom vilom breathing is harmless and suggested for most people, but if suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular issues, consult a physician.

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Shakti Mishra
Shakti Mishra



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