YOLY Challenge #10: Viloma Pranayama

What is Viloma Pranayama?

Loma means hair,  Vi denotes apart or divided. So, Viloma means divided hair or against the natural order of things. In Viloma pranayama, inhalation or exhalation is not a continuous process, but one that is interrupted by several pauses.ladder-632939__180 This form of pranayama may be compared to climbing up or down a tall ladder, with a pause at each step.

We will start with the second stage of Viloma pranayama because the exhalation is usually a more natural portion of the breath to extend.

For this week’s YOLY Challenge, try the following pranayama practice each day this week:

Viloma Stage II (Interrupted out-breath)

  • Lie quietly in Savasana
  • Exhale whatever breath is in the lungs
  • Take a long deep breath without any pause, filling the lungs completely, but do not over-strain.
  • Exhale for two seconds, pause, and hold the breath for two seconds and do this again. Continue this way until the lungs are completely empty. No strain should be felt throughout the practice.
  • Repeat this cycle 3-5 times.
  • Breathe normally for a period, remaining in Savasana.

Why do we need to practice Viloma Pranayama?

As in all pranayama, gaining control of the breath helps to expand lung capacity, oxygen levels and every other benefit that stems from having enhanced your body’s breathing machine.  In particular, by practicing Viloma II, you will gain an unforced, greater access to your exhalations. Which will, in turn, deepen your inhalations.

Click here if you would like to review the basics of pranayama – ujjayii breathing.

Please keep in mind that any pranayama practice can cause irritation or anxiousness. If you are affected in this matter, either decrease the number of cycles performed or discontinue the practice altogether.


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