Alternate Nostril Breathing

Anuloma pranayama

Anu means 'moving with' or 'with the flow'. Loma means 'natural force'. Anuloma means with the direction of natural force.

Anuloma pranayama is done with a clear inhalation. Exhalations are done with the nostrils partially blocked in numerous different ways.

This type of pranayama lengthens the breath by lengthening the exhalation.

Breathe in through both nostrils fully open. It does not matter if one nostril is blocked due to sinus closure, breathe in through the clear one so that air enters the lungs with ease.

Exhale through both nostrils. Restrict the air so that exactly the same amount of air escapes both nostrils. The blocked one will open on the exhalations. It is a good way to start to open the blocked side.

This completes a cycle of Anuloma Pranayama.


The left nostril is called the Ida, the right nostril is called Pingala. When you are healthy you will breathe predominantly through the left nostril for about one hour and fifty minutes, then through the right nostril for the same amount of time. In most of us this natural rhythm is disturbed and needs balancing. Anuloma Viloma restores the natural balance in your breathing. Alternate Nostril Breathing Instructions

With Alternate Nostril breathing you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath and then you exhale through the other nostril in a ratio of 2:8:4. Count to two when inhaling, hold for the count of eight then exhale to the count of four.

One Round of Anuloma Viloma: 1) Breathe in through the left nostril closing the right. 2) Hold breath, closing both nostrils. 3) Breathe out through the right nostril keeping the left nostril closed. 4) Breathe in through the right nostril keeping the left nostril closed. 5) Hold the breath, closing both nostrils. 6) Breathe out through the left nostril keeping the right closed.

Start with three rounds build up to twenty rounds.