Anulom-Vilom Pranayama {Steps And Benefits}

anulom vilom steps

Anulom Vilom Pranayama (अनुलोम प्राणायाम) is one of several Pranayama or breathing exercise used in the practice of Hatha yoga. At first you have to understand the meaning of Anuloma and Viloma .In this the first word Anu roughly translates as with and word Loma means hair implying “with the grain” or “natural”. And meaning of  Viloma is “against the grain.” Anuloma is opposite to Viloma. It is very helpful in respiratory related diseases like Asthama. Anulom Vilom Pranayama is the best way to balancing the Tri dosas in our body. Our body get ill when Tri dosas are not in balancing position. Vaat, Pitta, Kaffa are know as Tri dosas, Tri means “three” and the meaning of dosas is impurities. All these are present in body of every people. If one of them is imbalance than we suffer from different diseases. All of three are the cause of all diseases. So it’s important to balance these tri dosas. If you really want to balance these Tri dosas than do Anulom vilom pranayam regularly. It is the simplest and best way for this.

Steps of Anulom Vilom Pranayama

  • Anulom Vilom Pranayama is very easy to do, first of all close your eyes and sit in Padmasana and rest your hands on your knees.
  • Close the right nostril with the right thumb.Inhale slowly through the left nostril, inhale the oxygen as much as you can, this will fill your lungs with air.

anulom vilom step

  • Remove your thumb from your right nostril, as you remove your thumb from right nostril just exhale.
  • When you exhale use your middle finger to close your left nostril then inhale with our right nostril and remove thumb from right nostril then exhale. Repeat this process for 5 minutes.
  • Be focused and concentrate in your breathing.

Benefits of Anulom Vilom Pranayama

  • Helps to cure mental problems like Depression, Anxiety, Tension etc.
  • Most beneficial for breathing related problems like (Bronchitis, Asthama) etc.
  • Improve the working of lungs.

nadishodhan pranayama

Anulom Vilom Pranayama is the ideal pranayama for healthy heart. Anulom Vilom Pranayama is also known as Nadi shodhana pranayam (alternate nostril breathing). It is next level of Anulom Vilom. In Anulom Vilom Pranayama we inhale and exhale, but in Nadi shodhana pranayam we hold (kumbhaka or retention) our breath for a second or minute than exhale.


Steps of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (next level of Anulom Vilom Pranayama)

  • Sit on padmasana (lotus pose) close your eyes. Your spine should be erect.
  • Than inhale through your left nostril, while inhale close your right nostril with your right thumb.
  • When you feel your lungs is full of air than close left nostril by ring and middle finger, and your right nostril should also close.


  • Hold the breath for a minute or as much as you can, than exhale through right nostril. After that inhale through right nostril and close the left nostril by your left thumb, as you inhale completely just close your right nostril with thumb and left nostril by ring and middle finger.
  • Hold your breath (retention) for a minute than exhale by your left nostril.
  • Once cycle is complete, repeat the cycle for 3 or five minutes.

Benefits of Nadi shodhana pranayama

The benefits of nadi shodhan pranayama is Same as the benefits of Anulom Vilom Pranayama.

Don’t get confuse in Anulom vilom and Nadi shodhana pranayam. Both are same but in Nadi shodhana we hold our breath that’s it. Another name of Anulom Vilom Pranayama is Nadi shodhana. First of all you have to practice Anulom Vilom Pranayama when you are perfect than you’ll go for next level of Anulom Vilom Pranayama (Nadi shodhana).

Same as Anulom Vilom Pranayama first level, difference is when we inhale from our left nostril than hold for second or minute than exhale through your right nostril.

Important Points: – Try Do pranayama in the morning with empty stomach. If you haven’t enough time in morning than do it in evening but keep a several hour gap between your meals and pranayama.

When you are trying to do Nadi shodhana note that inhalation, retention and exhalation are all in equal duration which is called Sama vrtti and this is for beginners.

People who are more advanced may try Visama vrtti or uneven breath, by using the ratio such as 1:4:2. (1 beat inhale, 4 beat retention, and a 2 beat exhale.

36 thoughts on “Anulom-Vilom Pranayama {Steps And Benefits}

    • In Morning With Empty Stomach is the best time for Anulom Vilom. But If You can’t do it in morning you can Do it anytime. Just don’t do it if you have over ate something. otherwise It is ok to do anulom at anytime. As Baba Ramdev says that you can do anulom vilom before sleep. It’ll make you more comfortable with your sleep…

  • You can perform this Pranayama in morning or evening it’s depends upon you but you have to keep 3 or 4 hours gap before doing any yogic activities(Asanas or pranayama) . There is only one Asana called Vajrasana, which is done after taking meal.

  • What is the right way of breathing while doing Anulom Vilom? Should our stomach expand while breath in and shrink while out, or vice versa? Does the right way of breathing matters?

    • keep normal breathing during the process of Anulom vilom, air fills your lungs and your lungs should expand, and your diaphragm automatically moves up and down, don’t expand or shrink your stomach by your self. it;s automatically done during breathing. Your chest and collar bone is rising during inhaling,
      Thanks for your Valuable Comment.

  • Hi im confused between nadi shodhan and anum vilom. In Nadi shodan we do not hold breath but in Anulom Vilom we does. Please clarify. Most websites n books say we hold breath in Anulom Vilom

    • First of all thnx for your valuable commnet @ Kavitha, Anulom vilom is simple breathing process and in this you don’t hold your breath but in Nadi shodhan you have to hold breath, both pranayam is similar but diffference is you have to hold your breath in Nadi shodhana pranayama not in Anulom – vilom both are alternate nostril breathing.We can say that Nadi shodhan pranayama is the next level of Anulom vilom pranayama.

    • If you are a beginner,practice this pranayama for 5 minutes. day by day increase the time. once you are master in it you practice this Pranayama as much as you can. there is no time limit for it. but first start with minimum time.

    • Thnx @ Rajendra Gumaste, If you are beginner, do Anulom vilom 3 to 5 minutes, day by day increase the time. Once you are used to it you can perform this about half an hour. But main thing is that practice.

    • @Pushkar achieving goals in your life is all upto your hard work and efforts, but by Yoga you achieve positiveness to your mind, calmness and good health, Positive thinking and good health is vital factor for achieving any goals. Achiving Hepnotism level is very very difficult in now a days. It needs lots hard efforts and practice, and it takes time.

  • I am 68 yrs. of age & due to arthritis of knees I can not sit even in sukhasan, can I do while sitting on a chair. I also meditate, should I do that before or after anulom-vilom

  • Hello i am having to much depression. Sometimes i am scared and had angoplastic also.Is anulom vilom is alright for me? Regards Ahmad

  • Dear Sir,
    Can the regular practice of Anulom Vilom prayanama clear any blocked heart arteries.Can it be practiced in a room or open air.Thank You.

    • Thanx Umasankar Govindasamy for your valuable comment. For Narrowing heart arteries Anulom vilom, Nadi Shodhan pranayam, kapalbhati e.t.c. are best for this. But you have to practice regularly and it takes time but slowly – slowly it will cure this problem. keep practicing

  • How will time Take to get the benifit by anulom vilom pranayam. I do this Daily 5 minutes. Earlier i do this Daily 15 minutes but i Not get any benigits specially in My concentration and will Power

    • @Pushkar benefits needs time and practice, do this for 15 minutes as you said that. During anulom – vilom focus on your breath. while you breathe out assume that all your diseases and negative thoughts is going outside and in breathe in think that you are healthy and your mind is calm with positive thoughts.

  • I am having arachnodititis,because of tb in spine due to which I have severe pain radiating from hips to legs and I am doing anulom vilom while lying on bed .can I get cured from this pain by this anulom vilom as I have heard that many people of chronic diseases got benefitted.

    • Hello shipra…. See, your’s is the one of the rare cases and yes whatever u heard is true. many people have got cured from severe problems and no doubt u could b one of them.. But honestly we or myself can’t assure u on this.. Pranayama or yoga is such a miraculous technique that it is difficult to predict whether you will get cured or no.. But that doesn’t mean that you should not keep any hope coz u never know u may also get cured… But it is for sure that at least u r quality of life will go on increasing as the time passes.. K? I wish for u r complete recovery through u r dedicated practice of yoga..feel u r self blessed always.. U r free to ask if u still have any doubt or any question to ask..

  • Namaste,

    I have tried nadi shodhan pranayam , with padmasana and with visham vrutti.
    I am experiencing headache from morning .

    Can you help me ? is it ok to continue practice.?

    • Stop adopting kumbhaka while practicing nadi shodhan.. practice it without adopting any kumbhaka.. i.e. called anulom vilom or alternate nostril breathing.. this will reduce your headache.. if u have seviour headache then have some medicines first and stop the practice for 1 or 2 day.. thereafter u can continue the practice..

  • Can anulom vilom help to strengthen lung and eliminate shortness of breathing if one is having bronchitis? Ro start with should I do 5 minutes once a day or twice a day or more? Please advise.

    • Yes for sure.. it does help. Apart from that practice other pranayamas also. Some backward bending asanas are also useful practice them according to u r physical restraint. Anulom vilom is the only pranayama which u can practice at any time n u can practice for how much time u want to.
      Set of practices of backward bending postures and pranayamas is the yogic therapeutic package for u r problem. So practice regularly

  • Sir, I suffer from severe Dry Eyes problem caused by allergies. One of my friend told me to do anulom vilom.
    Is Anulom Vilom right exercise for the Dry Eye problem. Please suggest.

    • @ vaibhav, Bhramari pranayam, Eye Rotation(Rotate your eyes slowly in clockeise & anticlockwise direction for 5-10 times on each side), Up & Down Movement (look up at the roof then shift gaze to the ground and look up again do it for 10 to 15 times). Tratak, halasana & sravangasana is best for eyes. Don’t work on computer continuesly take break at regular time period. YOU can also use eye drops with doctor concern

  • Good morning
    I am suffering from high bp and high cholestrol Is pranayama help to me for normalise what types of pranayamas
    I have to practice?

    • @vasu Anuloma viloma pranayama, Chandra bhedi pranayam, sheetkari, sheetali, Bhramari and pranav pranayam. And for high cholestrol do kapalbhati pranayam with slow strokes, chakrasana, shalabhasana, sarvangasana, paschimottanasana, Ardh Matsyendrasana are helpful in high cholestrol

  • Good evening
    I am suffering from Maxillary Polyps with Sinusitis, got oprtd two times but same problem is recurring again and when stopped taking allopathic medicine. This Anulom Vilom pranayam will be helpful or not. Please guide me which pranayam will be best for me. Thanks

    • Only pranayama will not be helpful.. as a necessity u will have to practice jal neti and sutra or rubber neti.. u have to practice shatkarma.. or else problem will not b solved… Take shatkarma treatment from some yoga therapy institute… your problem will definitely early get solved..

  • Hello..I have undergone Pnemothorax 2 years back. can i do anulomvilom pranayam now. if yes for how much time. please answer.

  • Hi i am 26 and height 6″2 i weight 74 and i want to increase my weight because at this height i look thin…can kapalbhati and anulom vilom help me gain weight because ive heard tht kapalbhati helps reduce weight . i dont want to lose weight . I also sometimes suffer frm anxieties and depresssion will anulom vilom help ? Plz reply .

  • I am from Dhaka. I am performing anulom vilom prayanam since last four months. I feel happy and no anxiety tension. But I feel weight lose and thin that make me uneasy. I don’t weigh over. 60 kg and age 45y. Please tell me how I can overcome it.

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