Alom Vilom For Healthy Heart

With practice of alom vilom, whole nervous system is cleansed and toned up. It is also known as nadi shodhana pranayama or alternate nostril breathing.


Read general guidelines for pranayama before starting alom vilom pranayama.

  • Sit on your favourite Asana (Padma asana, Vajra asana or Sukh asana) in a well ventilated room free from any distractions. Keep the waist, back, neck and spine erect. Beginners can sit on a chair or sit cross legged on the yoga mat/ carpet keeping your back, neck and spine erect. For very weak people, lie down in supine position similar to shava asana.
  • Inhaling and exhaling should be slow and it should not make noise. Gradually increase the time for inhalation and exhalation. Keep the breathing exercise easy and enjoy it. Do as per your potential, do not stress your breathing too much. Any time you feel discomfort, discontinue and take rest.
  • For closing the right nostril, it should be pressed with thumb of right hand. For closing the left right nostril, it should be pressed with ring finger of right hand. Keep the other hand on your knee.
  • Alternate method. For closing the right nostril, it should be pressed with ring finger of left hand. For closing the left right nostril, it should be pressed with thumb of left hand. Keep the other hand on your knee.
  • Initially your hands will get tired easily, so you can use either of the hands. One hand gets tired, use other hand.
  • As a beginner you may not feel comfortable sitting for 15 to 20 minutes. If you are not comfortable in sitting for long time, you can take a minutes break and rest in sitting position for relaxation or shavasana.

Steps For Alom Vilom

  • Inhale slowly through the left nostril and fill up your lungs to maximum capacity.
  • Hold your breath.(Do not hold breath initially for 2-3 months, practice only inhalation and exhalation). Do not hold breath at all if you are suffering from hypertension, asthama.
  • Exhale through the right nostril very slowly, rhythmically.
  • Inhale again through the right nostril.
  • Exhale again through the left nostril.
  • We call this one set. Repeat five sets and gradually increase to ten/ twenty sets. With practice, your inhaling and exhaling time will increase as you will start breathing more deeply, breath will become more smooth.


  • If you have plenty of time, you can practice alom vilom or alternate nostril breathing for as much time as long as you are comfortable. Gradually you can increase the practice of this pranayama to 30 minutes.
  • Concentrate on your breath while you inhale and exhale, enjoying every breath. Free your mind from any tension or worries. Think about the wonderful gift of life God has given you. Pay good attention to the rhythm throughout. Feel the flow of prana energy throughout your body.
  • Ideally, when you have gained sufficient practice for 2-3 months practice retention of breath. Keep the ratio of time taken for inhalation, retention of breath and exhalation as (1:4:2). For starters, do not hold breath, keep the ratio of inhalation-exhalation to (1:2).


  • Cleans up and tones up the entire nervous system.
  • Strengthens the heart. Improves blood circulation and is ideal for heart.
  • Practice of alom vilom removes mental tension and worries.


For practicing this pranayama both the nostrils should be clear. Do not practice if you are having cold and your nose does not permit comfortable breathing through either nostril.

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