Viloma pranayama is a pranayama breathing technique where inhaling and exhaling is not a continuous process, but one that is interrupted by several pauses.
The word Viloma is derived from two Sanskrit words Vi and Loma. Vi means negation and loma means hair. Viloma, therefore, means anti-hair or to be more accurate, means against the natural order of things.
Viloma pranayama can be practiced both in sitting or lying position. It is a pranayama breathing exercise which is ideal for beginners. The practice of viloma involves interrupted inhalation and exhalation. For instance, if one inhalation lasts 10 seconds, then in viloma it would be interrupted every 2-3 seconds, thus bringing the length of the inhalation to 15 seconds. Similarly, the exhalation process is lengthened to 15 seconds.
Note: While viloma pranayama can be practiced both in sitting and lying postures, the steps outlined below present viloma in a lying position. If you’d like to practice viloma in sitting posture, just follow the breathing techniques outlined here.
How to Practice Viloma Pranayama
- Lie flat on a yoga mat, keeping your body in a straight line. Close your eyes and lie quietly for a minute.
- Breathe normally. Observe your breath.
- Take a deep breath and fill your lungs completely. Exhale completely.
- Now start with the interrupted inhalation. Inhale for 2-3 seconds, pause, hold the breath for 2-3 seconds. Continue to do this until the lungs are completely full, which may involve 4-5 pauses. Don’t strain yourself.
- Exhale for 2-3 seconds, then pause, hold the breath for 2-3 seconds, pause once again. Repeat this until the lungs feel completely empty.
- This completes one cycle of viloma pranayama. Repeat these steps for 5-7 minutes before resting in savasana.
Health Benefits of Viloma Pranayama
- It brings a feeling of ease and lightness to the body.
- It brings a feeling of exhilaration and calm.
- It rests the nerves and soothes the brain.
Hope you found this guide to Viloma Pranayama useful. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Interested in learning more pranayama breathing techniques? Head over to our Pranayama section.
If you liked this article, you may also like:
- 3 Pranayama Breathing Techniques for Beginners
- The Ultimate Guide to Ujjayi Pranayama [Infographic]
- How to Practice Tibetan Pranayama (9-round Breathing)
Exclusive Resource: 5 Zen Books Everyone Should Read (PDF)
Join our email list to get the free PDF and all the latest articles, delivered straight to your inbox.