Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise – Breath Control & Yoga Pranayama Book

Chakra Balancing | Anuloma Viloma Pranayama

Chakra Yoga Breathing Exercise #2

Free Online Video of Chakra Balancing Pranayama 


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Free Online Yoga Video of Chakra Balancing Yoga Pranayama

 HD Version of Intermediate Anuloma Viloma

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Background of Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama):

This is a wonderful and essential breathing exercise to practice before moving on to the practice of other more advanced pranayamas.  This breath control technique comes from Patnajali’s Yoga Sutras and actually goes by several different names.  It is called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama, Anuloma Viloma Pranyanama, Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique, but I think the name that will describe it best is Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise.  The version given here is the basic technique which must be mastered first, later in this book I will give the more advanced versions of this pranayama.

Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise is designed to purify the psychic channels (nadis) through which Kundalini Energy and Prana (Life-Force) flow.  There are 3 primary channels for the flow of this energy: Ida, Pingala and Shusumna.  It is essential to balance the flow of energy between the Ida and Pingala channels which run alongside and intertwine the spine.  Through the spinal column runs the Shushumna Nadi, the central master channel.  The Ida and Pingala can be considered the lunar and solar channels respectively.  With the Ida Nadi responsible for cooling, feminine, passive, mental energy and the Pingala Nadi responsible for hot, male, active, physical energy.  As the flow through these 2 channels is harmonized, prana and Kundalini start to flow through Shushumna.  This flow through the Shushumna Nadi activates and balances all the seven chakras.

Benefits of Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama):


  • Activates Kundalini Flow through the Shushumna, thus awakening the chakras.
  • The flow of Kundalini through the Shushumna also induces meditative states of consciousness.
  • Calms the mind, promoting peace and tranquility.
  • Creates balance, harmony and rhythm in the entire system.
  • Prepares the system for more advanced Pranayamas.


  • Improves the respiratory system.
  • Strengthens the nervous system.
  • Purifies the body by oxygenating the blood supply.

Cautions for Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama):

  • As with all breath control practice, only do as much as you are comfortable with.  Start slowly and build up steadily.
  • Do not do this breathing exercise if one nostril is blocked or you are requiring force to breathe through it.

How To Do Simple Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama):

  • To practice this breathing exercise sit up in a comfortable position.  Preferably in a variation of sukh asana (cross legged).
  • Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention.  This will align the spine with the back of your head.
  • Fold your index finger and middle finger into the palm of your right hand so just the thumb, ring finger and pinkie are extended.  Hold your knee with your left hand.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Bring your attention to your breathing and take 5 deep, slow breaths though the nose.  This will oxygenate your blood and relax you.  For the rest of the exercise the attention should remain on your breath.
  • Now with your right thumb gently close the right nostril and breathe in slowly and completely through the left nostril only counting mentally from 1 to 4.
  • Now gently close the left nostril with your right ring finger and pinkie and releasing the right nostril breathe out through it only, counting mentally from 1 to 4.
  • Now breathe in through the RIGHT nostril only, keeping the left closed, counting mentally from 1 to 4.
  • Finally, re-close the right nostril and breathe out through the left only, counting mentally from 1 to 4.  This completes 1 cycle of Anuloma Viloma Pranayama.
  • Start with 5 rounds a day and start to add 1 additional round as you make progress.  Also, start to add to the count, based on your level of comfort, by 1 for both the inhalation portion and exhalation portion till you reach a count of 12 for each phase.  When you can comfortably manage that move onto Intermediate Anuloma Viloma Pranayama.

How To Do Intermediate Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama):

  • All steps are the same as above except you should now build up to 15-20 rounds a day and your count should be built up to 24:24 for inhalation and exhalation.  After you reach 24:24 (even with less rounds if you don’t have much time) you can progress to the Advanced version.

How To Do Advanced Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama):

  • In the advanced version you will introduce the optimum ratio for inhalation to exhalation.  The ratio should be 1:2.  In other words for every count of 1 for inhalation, exhalation should last twice as long.  So now perform Nadi Shodhana Pranayama at the ration 12:24 (12 counts for inhalation phase and 24 for exhalation).  Build up to 30 rounds a day, or as many as time allows you to do.  The upper limit allowed is 80 rounds 4 times a day, so don’t worry about over doing it unless you are hitting this limit.
  • Later in this book I will introduce the versions of the Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise utilizing both, breath retention and bandhas (body locks).  In general though the above breathing technique should be practiced for at least 4-6 months first before combining with breath retention or body locks.

Hints and Tips Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise (Anuloma Viloma Pranayama):

  • 30 years.  It took Yogi Bhajan 30 years to master and perfect the flow of breath through either nostril without the use of his hands.  This is a worthwhile mental exercise to try.  By bringing the power of your attention to the flow through a particular nostril see how well you can modulate it.  Here is the link to Yogi Bajan’s Kundalini Yoga Website if you want to explore.
  • Apply the knowledge from this breath control technique to your everyday life and monitor the affects.  If you are looking for active energy, breathe exclusively through the Right Nostril, on the other hand, if you are looking to relax or do mental work breathe exclusively through the Left Nostril.  Experiment, learn and enjoy.
  • To learn more about Anuloma Viloma Pranayama (called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama by this school) you can visit Yoga Vision, Bihar School of Yoga.

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  1. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    Hi there, not sure if you can help me. Many years ago I praticed a pranyama for a while, which involved alternate nostril breathing, but also pumping the belly button. I cannot find the link to it anywhere anymore, and can’t recall the name. Can you identify this practice for me? It made such a difference in my day, colours were brighter, my mind was sharper and I would love to take up the practice again.

    • Vijay
      Vijay says:

      That is called Kapalabhati Pranayama. Check for Baba Ramdev videos on YouTube. Most will be in Hindi language, but may be you can pickup. He has simplified these Yogo Practices for people like me and you.

  2. jeff
    jeff says:

    Good info! My favorite if Kaphala bhati . I feel this chakra balancing trick interesting…….let me try this once…….. Thanks for the info.

  3. plagaise
    plagaise says:

    Personally, when doing the alternate nostril breathing pranayama, I practice a 12 : 48 : 24 ratio. This, I found, is much more powerful than just the 12 : 24 ratio. However, this is very advanced and it is not for inexperienced meditators.

  4. Luis
    Luis says:

    Anuloma Viloma is one of my favorite Pranayams. It soothes and balances my breathing cycle, restores peace after a particularly difficult set of kriyas or helps to prepare me to begin my practice. It is also very good to help me settle down before beginning my meditation practice. There are so many variations to this wonderful pranayam, each with its own unique suttle effects.

    • Daniel
      Daniel says:

      Yes, breath retention is extremely dangerous. it can tear the higher chakras open & cause a premature, full awakening of the mysterious kundalini. Personally, I would never practice kumbhaka, no matter how advanced I became. Not really necessary & very risky. If one gets into trouble with kumbhaka, there will be nobody that can help you.

  5. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Kar,

    As I mentioned in the article above, that is the advanced version and I will introduce that later. Perhaps it is time I did :-).

    Glad you are enjoying the website.


  6. Kar
    Kar says:

    Hi Anmol,

    I have a question regarding Anuloma Viloma, which is, how come you have not included the portion during the exercise where the participant holds their breath for a certain period of time? Such as following a ratio of 2 seconds of inhalation, 8 seconds of holding the breath, and exhaling for 4 seconds. I only ask because I have seen other instructions from different websites suggesting the aforementioned, so I’m curious why you did not include it in yours.

    Nevertheless, thank you for your wonderful guide, and the additional information on your website. The predominant bookmarks of my web browser consist of links to your articles. Keep up the magnificent work!

  7. Kapil
    Kapil says:

    Hi Anmol,

    I was reading your description and noticed you said breath just through the left for mental and the right nostril for energy. Does that mean it’s safe to just keep one nostril blocked and breathe through the other randomly throughout the day to serve whichever purpose you choose? I wasn’t sure if focusing exclusively on one nostril could be harmful and unbalance your pathways.

  8. K
    K says:

    As I’m doing this exercise I can feel both a cool and hot sensation coming from the upper part of my back. When I focus on this sensation, it spreads out sideways from my spine almost across my shoulders and back of my neck for a few seconds. Am I correct in assuming that this is a form of Kundalini energy?

  9. aditya
    aditya says:

    Hi Anmol,
    I have been practicing pranayama for a few years and after reading reading from your site a few months back I have switched to 1:2 ratio of anulom vilom.Now I feel Tiredness and sleepiness a few hours after pranayama.Is it that I get short of oxygen after exhaling longer or that I should introduce retention in the 1:2:4 ratio as some websites suggest .
    I ‘d like to mention here that i feel more at peace with 1:2 ratio instead of 1;1.

  10. Jasper
    Jasper says:

    I am completely appreciating this website and your guidance. Thank you very much.

    I have broken my nose a few times and have difficulty breathing in through my left nostril. It just collapses unless I breath very very slowly. I can, if I “hold it open” with sort of a sneer contortion of my face I can increase the rate of inhalation somewhat. I still have to breath much more slowly when inhaling through the left nostril even with the contortion in comparison the the capabilities to inhale on the right and to exhale from either.

    Should I just slow all inhalations and exhalations down on both sides to match the left nostril inhalation? If I do so, as a beginner, one round takes over a minute to complete.

    Any recommendations? Keep it slow and balanced or change the rate to accommodate the capacity of each nostril and each in- or exhalation?

    Thank you,


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] I would like to caution that the version of the pranayama taught in this video is an intermediate version and not the beginner version.  You can find the beginner’s version of this technique here – Chakra Balancing Pranayama. […]

  2. […] Chakra Balancing Breathing Exercise […]

  3. Breathe…….. « says:

    […] breathing technique which bestows similar benefits to Ujjayi Pranayama is Anuloma Viloma Pranayama, which is perhaps the most famous of all yoga breathing exercises. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike […]

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