Unlike High-Intensity Interval Training, Aerobics, Zumba, heavy workout in the gym, and other methods of rigorous exercises that focus on burning a lot of calories and sweating too much for weight loss, fitness, and health, yoga is low impact exercise that aims to balance mind and body for health and wellness.
Yoga comprises of two step:
- Asana or the body postures
- Pranayama or the breathing exercises
There are hundreds of asanas and dozens of pranayama methods that target certain areas and organs of the body to make you fit and healthy as well as prevent and cure a lot of physical, psychological, and emotional conditions. Asanas jump start your blood circulation by sending blood to your various organs, whereas Pranayama brings oxygen to your cell. Asanas include twisting, turning, and moving your body, even taking upside-down position in order to shift blood from the lower part of your body to the upper including the heart and brain. Pranayama includes performing various breathing techniques so that your body gets more oxygen and relaxes various organs.
A complete yoga session can take one hour or more that includes both asanas and pranayama. The complete yoga session is aimed at achieving perfect health. However, if your main aim is to cure and prevent certain health conditions, you can do certain asanas and pranayama. In this article, we will primarily discuss the Anulom Vilom Pranayama method.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama
Hatha Yoga, a branch of Yoga, mentions 8 different Pranayama methods. Among these 8 different Pranayama methods three are very important: Bhashrika, Kapalabhati and Anulom Vilom. Each of these pranayama techniques have numerous benefits but Kapalabhati and Anulom Vilom are said to be more beneficial. While, Kapalabhati is not recommended for people suffering from hypertension, Anulom-Vilom can be done by anyone of any age.
How to do Anulom Vilom Pranayama
Sit cross-legged, your body should be straight. Rest your left hand on your left knee, with your palm facing upwards. Make a circle with your thumb and index finger, and your remaining fingers should point to the ground. Place your index finger on the base of the thumb in your right hand. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale a deep breath from your left nostril. Now, close your left nostril with a middle finger and ring finger and lift the thumb and exhale a deep breath from the right nostril. Inhale another deep breath from the right nostril and close the nostril with the thumb, lift fingers from the left nostril and exhale breath. Again take a deep breath from the left nostril and release from the right.
Even a five minutes session of Anulom Vilom will let you relax, however, for the maximum benefits you will have to practice at least 20 minutes every day.
Benefits Anulom Vilom Pranayama
Anulom Vilom Pranayama has a lot of benefits such as
Helps to curb stress
Prevents or even treats hypertension
Prevents heart diseases
Manages blood sugar levels
Prevents and treats respiratory diseases
Strengths brain functions
Improves memory and concentration