What Is Surya Anuloma Viloma? Definition and Meaning
Anuloma Viloma is atraditional pranayama, or breath exercise, common throughout many yogic practices. Anuloma Viloma is an alternate nostril breath technique, also known as Nadi Shodhana. Sometimes, the pronunciation of the final a is silenced on each word, so you may also hear ‘anulom vilom.’
Anuloma translate roughly to ‘with the grain’ since Anu means with and loma refers to ‘hairs.’ This contrasts the meaning of viloma, which translates roughly to ‘against the grain.’
Thus, this technique is an alternation, as your breath alternates between a natural and contrasting flow.
You can see this page on Nadi Shodhana for more information on how to do alternate nostril breathing./breath-exercises/how-to-do-alternate-nostril-breathing-technique-and-benefits
Anulom Vilom Technique Explained
For a complete explanation of how to do anuloma viloma aka nadi shodhana, watch this 2 minute video.
The basic technique is to place your hand lightly over your face, using one finger to block your right nostril. Inhale through the left nostril. Release the block on your right nostril and use a different finger to block your left nostril. Exhale through your right nostril and inhale through the right nostril. Switch the fingers once more, and continue to repeat the process, changing your hand position after each inhalation.
Watch the video to learn more.
Benefits of Anuloma Viloma Breathing
Anuloma Viloma breathing has been shown to have many physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. In addition to the common health benefits of meditation practices, alternate nostril breathing is an especially powerful technique for gaining clarity and improving decision-making through a connection with your intuitive source. Thus, it is a great technique to master if you want to improve intuitive guidance and insight.
This is because alternate nostril breathing is a very effective technique for working with the energy in your third eye center, located in the center of your forehead. This chakra is known to relieve any ailments associated with the head or brain, including headaches, colds, and other ailments, as well as helps to relieve the mental burdens of stress and confusion.
In addition, the practice increases your respiratory function, by improving the flow of air through each nasal center. Isolating the nostrils in this way results in a greater lung capacity, as well as greater control over the breath.