Saturday, May 22, 2010

Anuloma Viloma

Anuloma Viloma. Sounds exotic, no? It is a pranayama, but if often taught with kriyas or cleansing exercises for its detoxifying properties. Its alternate name is Nadi Shodhana, or Nadi purification. If you've checked out my other videos or done research into yoga philosophy, you know nadis are channels that prana runs on. This breath technique cleanses them, enabling energy to flow freely.

Healthy breathing is done through the nose, not the mouth. This cleanses and warms the air that comes into the body. If you take a moment to notice your body and your breath, you might notice that air comes in more easily through one nostril than the other. I always joke with my classes that people who do cocaine know this principle well! According to yoga philosophy, your dominant nostril will switch off every hour and a half if you are healthy. If one nostril stays dominant too long, that's not healthy. Anuloma Viloma causes both nostrils to breathe evenly; no one nostril is dominant. In this video, we do 4 rounds. For the full effect, you should do more than 4 rounds, but this is a good place to start. Try to breathe slowly, even if you breathe more slowly than I do in the video. Afterward, take a few slow, deep breaths through both nostrils to feel how neither one is dominant; that the body is in equilibrium. Build up to 10-20 rounds and you will notice an amazing feeling of vitality that this pranayama imparts.

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