By Dr. Sonia Lal Gupta
June 21, 2022 (IANSlife) “Breathing is simple, gracious, soothing and always there for you.” ― Karenina Ana Murillo
I recall my very first yoga session vividly. My teacher asked me to do the Anulom-Vilom breathwork at the end of a slightly exhausting but relaxing session.
“This is the most important posture,” she said, “my own teacher taught me that; and it feels like if I don’t practice breathwork at the end of a session, the entire session did no benefit.
“It’s like a form of meditation,” she continued, “Your attention is the most important part. Do this every day.”
Prana refers to the breath or life force, and yama refers to control. Breathwork, also known as breathcontrol, is the conscious navigation of the life force that flows through your entire body.
In eastern medicine, blockages of prana in your nadis, or chakras, are the root cause of all disease. Pranayama can assist in clearing these blockages and restoring life by providing you with:
Anulom-Vilom, which translates as Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise, aids in mind strengthening and complete relaxation.
Make sure to practise Anulom-Vilom 4-5 hours after eating. Cardiac or blood pressure patients, as well as pregnant women, should not hold their breath while performing pranayama, but should simply inhale and exhale.
Sit comfortably with a straight spine
Block the right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale for 2 seconds through the left nostril, then hold for 4 seconds (Cardiac and blood pressure patients and pregnant women should not hold their breath).
Block the left nostril and exhale through the right for 2 seconds. Inhale for 2 seconds through the right nostril, then hold for 4 seconds. Block the right nostril and exhale through the left for 2 seconds. Block both nostrils and exhale for 2 seconds. This cycle finishes one round.
Start the cycle again, this time starting with the right nostril.
Repeat for a maximum of 10 rounds.
There are several different types of pranayama, and Anulom-Vilom is just one of them. I encourage you to try them all and be consistent in your practice of pranayama.
(Dr. Sonia Lal Gupta, MD, MBA, FACP, Sr Consultant Neurologist)
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