Viloma Pranayama

Viloma Pranayama is a very simple breathing technique that can be practiced by anyone.

Francesca Giusti in Lotus pose

Viloma pranayama can be practiced sitting or lying down and is a great technique for those new to yogic breathing techniques.

The meaning of the word

‘Vi’ means against, Loma means hair; Viloma means against the natural flow. Viloma is an interrupted breathing technique where you pause briefly during your breath. This pranayama gently introduces the concept of expanding the length of the breath and lung capacity.

Variations

There are three variations of this pranayama.

  1. Interrupted inhalation
  2. Interrupted exhalation
  3. Interrupted inhalation & exhalation

In Francesca’s tutorial below she demonstrates the second variation – interrupted exhalation.

Benefits of Viloma Pranayama

  • Improves control of your breath and movement of air within your body
  • Helps you cool down after an active yoga class
  • Helps to relieve anxiety
  • Helps to relieve tension from PMS

Some tips when practicing this Pranayama

  • When giving this pranayama a go, try to really be aware of the movement of breath in your body.
  • It can be nice to target a different ‘area’ of your lungs after each pause or interruption. Really try to control the movement of air in your body.
  • Keep your breathing relaxed and soft. Try to avoid ‘grasping’ for breath focusing on keeping the quality of the breath gentle.

Practice in class with Sandra Carson

Viloma pranayama means ‘against the wave’ and involves interrupted breathing. This breathing exercise can be practiced as a way to focus your attention and still your mind. In this tutorial, you will learn and experience how to fine tune the subtle energy of the breath and play with your breath capacity.  It is a wonderful way to prepare your mind for meditation.

EkhartYoga members: Want to practice more Pranayama?

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EkhartYoga Written by one of the EkhartYoga staff or guest writers. A dedicated team of yoga teachers, yoga students, anatomy geeks, and recipe creators.