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Anuloma viloma is a breath technique to release stress, tension and gain access to a meditation form that is relatively easily to learn. The exercise is based on alternating the breath through different nostrils using a special yogic hand form, holding the breath then releasing the breath, letting go of stressful tension in the mind, body and spirit if practiced daily.
Hand form: tuck the index and middle fingers of the right hand into the palm (this hand position is known as the Vishnu Mudra). The only fingers that will be used are the thumb and the ring finger (3rd finger).
Note: holding the breath is an advanced technique, first practice without holding the breathe
1. Sit or stand, spine straight, relaxing the muscles and emptying the thoughts
2. Put the right hand up to the nose and place the thumb on the right nostril and the ring finger on the left nostril
3. Close the right nostril up by putting pressure on it with your thumb, breathe in through the left nostril, extending your abdomen, then filling the chest and clavicle regions (as learned in simple breathing). Take the count of 6 to fully breathe in
4. Once breathed in close both nostrils, hold the breath for the count of 4 (or to your comfort)
5. Release the right nostril and breathe out for the count of 6
6. Breath in the right nostril extending your abdomen, then filling the chest and clavicle regions (as learned in simple breathing). Take the count of 6 to fully (right nostril) breathe in
7. Once inhaled close both nostrils, hold the breath for the count of 4
8. Close the right nostril up by putting pressure on it with your thumb, breathe out through the left nostril for the count of 6. This completes one round
9. Start again by holding closed the right nostril and breathing in the left nostril for the count of 4
Note: when breathing out gently empty the clavicle and chest regions first then the abdomen, when breathing in fill the tummy first then slowly fill the chest, then the clavicle region.
Develop a good breathing pattern/steady rhythm; of breathe in for the count of 6, hold the breath for the count of 4, breathe out for the count of 6, (6:4:6:) rhythm.
As you improve extend the breathing rhythm/times to suit your needs.
Complete 20 times as one round.
Build up to practicing 3 rounds.
Note: It is important to practice and fully understand basic breathing technique before moving on to the more advanced breathing practices for hunger control (Sithali and Sitkari), muscle toning (Kalpalabhati breathing) and deep meditation breathing for stress release and relaxation (Anuloma viloma).