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Anulom vilom pranayam – yoga for diabetes and heart disease

Here is an easy yoga aasana that can help you calm your mind and heal your body. Read all about anulom vilom pranayam.

Written by Pavitra Sampath |Updated : June 11, 2015 6:21 PM IST

Yoga is the best way to increase flexibility and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It acts as a powerful remedy to relieve stress and also acts as a perfect aid to maintain blood sugar levels and cholesterol within control. Apart from making you feel instantly calm, it will also help the nervous system and other organs to function better. One such useful and easy yoga asana is anulom vilom pranayam a practice in yoga that is touted as an instant and natural pick-me-up.

Anulom vilom pranayam what is it?

Also known as nadi shodhana pranaya, the Art of Living, India, describes it as an energy channel cleansing and purification pranayam.Anulom vilom is an easy and very convenient way to calm your mind, get instant stress relief, protect your organs from damage and helps strengthen the nervous system. Think of it as a top-of-the-line massage for your entire nervous system right in the comfort of your home. (Read: Know your yoga pose Padmasana)

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How it will help you

This breathing technique, keeps your lungs healthy, fights free radicals produced due to stress, helps in the proper circulation of oxygenated blood throughout the body and can help relieve a cold by stimulating the inner mucosal lining. The constant and regulated breathing also massages, cleanses and tones the entire nervous system making you feel much more relaxed. Apart from all this it also strengthens the heart, improves blood circulation, increases lung function, keeps the digestive system healthy, and most importantly gives your skin a lovely internal glow. (Read: Want glowing skin? Forget expensive creams and try yoga)

Practitioners believe that doing anuom vilom on a regular basis can relieve the symptoms of and reverse conditions like diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol levels. A study conducted at the Government Medical College, Nagpur[1] found that people who practice yoga were found to have higher lung function than athletes and other sports persons. It also states that people with a sedentary lifestyle had the least lung function. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry[2] found that practicing pranayam on a regular basis was highly effective in improving a person s blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels. (Read: Top 10 yoga poses to keep diabetes under control)

Before you start

It is essential that this pose be performed in a calm place with enough fresh air. Also, you must make sure that you practice this asana on an empty stomach and preferably early in the morning, when your stomach is relatively empty. If you don t have the time in the morning, you can perform it at other times in the day, but make sure you do it at least five hours after your last meal.

Steps to do this pose

  • Sit on a mat on the floor. Cross your legs into the padmasana pose. If you cannot fold your knees completely, bend them as much as you can. Those who have arthritis can sit on a wooden chair with a straight back.
  • Now place one hand with the palms facing the ceiling. Place the thumb of your other hand on one nostril and fold the index finger.
  • Keep the ring finger extended so that it can be used to close the other nostril. Do not lift your elbow too high, your hand will get fatigued after a while. Leave it loose and by your Anulom Vilomside. Here are 5 best yoga poses every woman should practice.
  • Now inhale deeply through one nostril while keeping the other one closed with your finger. Now, open the other nostril and close the one you breathed in with and exhale. This is one cycle.
  • To start the next cycle, breathe in through the same nostril that you exhaled out of and repeat the process. Practise this asanafor about three minutes initially gradually increasing the amount of time to 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remember not to slouch or raise your shoulders while breathing in. Also, breathe in deeply using your lungs and try not to allow the air to fill in your stomach.

Tip: This pose can be done by everybody. Just be careful that you do not stress your body out too much. This asana is meant to make you relax not stress you out more.

Finally, it is suggested that anulom vilom be practiced in conjunction with pranayam, and other breathing techniques like brahmri pranayam, bhastrika pranayam and kapalbhati pranayam. Read more about Naked yoga does it have any real health benefits?

Image Source: Getty Images


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