There’s one quote that has sinked into my subconscious:
“Just Breathe, one inhalation – one exhalation at a time. Form a string of breaths and the magic happens…”
Anulom Vilom Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing exercise is one of the main practices of Pranayama. It cleanses the pranic channels and balances the two main energy channels – Ida and Pingala thereby balancing the two hemispheres of the brain and it awakens the central channel called Sushumna Nadi.
Lets understand this in simpler language. Any form of deep-conscious breathing is Pranayam. In normal breathing, only one-third of the alveoli(air sacs in the lungs) get oxygen while the remaining remain inactive.As we get older, the inactive alveoli remain full of carbon-dioxide, becoming almost inert and our breathing becomes shortened. In Pranayam as we inhale more oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, our vital lung capacity increases. It helps the lungs in blood purification and improves blood circulation to all the parts of our body.
The ideal ratio in Anulom-Vilom is 1:4:2 (inhale:hold:exhale). We hold the breath for a longer time, as it is difficult to have thoughts when you hold your breath. Besides, our mind is cluttered with thoughts throughout the day, it is in silence that solutions and ideas are formed. We exhale all the toxins and the stress, but we do not prolong it as the rhythm would be broken and our inhalation would be jerky.
Our goal should be consistency of the rhythm(of our breath). When our breaths are flowing effortlessly, the magic begins… The body recuperates, our minds are filled with tranquility and the soul is rejuvenated!!