Breath of the Month for January: Anuloma Viloma
Welcome to our very first breathing practice of this monthly series! Each month I will share with you a new breath that is classified as either calming, energizing, balancing, or a breath to “put me to sleep.”
Before I begin, I will explain Pranayama first. Prana is the life-force in the body. Yama is the control of the life force.
This month’s pranayama, Anuloma Viloma is for balance.
In esoteric energy anatomy, we have two energy channels, the right, masculine and sun side called the “Pingala”; and the left, feminine or moon side called the “Ida.” Every 60-90 minutes we breathe predominantly out of one or the other. When we are primarily breathing out of the right side, the sun side, we are more energetic and using the left hemisphere of the brain. When we breathe more on the left or the moon side, we are more relaxed, and the right part of the brain is more active.
If you want to balance the energy on both sides (for example, you want to be alert but relaxed like for a speech that you have to give), then you can practice Anuloma Viloma, also called Alternate nostril breathing. This kind of breath work will not only bring equilibrium to your energy but will balance the two hemispheres of the brain.
The basic version of this pranayama is five rounds.
Please see the video for a description of what is considered one round. As you feel comfortable with five rounds, move onto ten rounds or more. Remember to take full breaths and keep a positive image in your mind.
- If you have a stuffy nose, try to clear that nostril before beginning this breathing exercise. Only add additional sets when you feel ready.
- There is no holding of the breath. As you advance, attempt to make the breath very quiet.