Going Against the Flow with Viloma Pranayama

Pranayama Breathwork is about enhancing your health, changing your energy levels, and finding balance in your mind.

  1. Viloma 1- Breath is interrupted on the inhalation
  2. Viloma 2 — Breath is interrupted on the exhalation
  3. Viloma 3 — The breath is interrupted on both the inhalation and the exhalation

Stage 1 builds tension during the inhalation while allowing you to get a full deep breath. After this tension has been built both your mind and body enjoy a nice release on the exhalation.

  • Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and bring your focus to the tip of your nose.
  • Begin noticing the natural flow of breath moving in and out through your nose.
  • After a couple rounds start consciously dividing your breath into 3 parts.
  • Inhaling into your belly, ribcage, and chest.
  • Exhaling from your chest, ribcage, and belly.
  • Once comfortable with this division we begin by inhaling for 3 seconds into the belly about one-third of your capacity and pausing for 1–2 seconds.
  • Continue inhaling for 3 seconds as you consciously widen through your ribcage bringing yourself to two-thirds of your breath capacity, then pause again for 1–2 seconds.
  • Now fill up completely as we expand out into our chest with full lungs for 3 seconds and pause one last time, 1–2 seconds more.
  • Then release on one smooth exhale — slow and steady for 9 seconds.
  • Do 5–10 rounds.
  • Come back to your natural breath.
  • Notice any tension still remaining in the body after Viloma 1, and continue to release it with every exhale.
  • Return to 3-part breathing
  • Inhaling into your belly, ribcage, chest.
  • Exhaling from your chest, ribcage, and belly.
  • After a couple nourishing rounds take one long steady inhalation for a full 9 seconds, allowing your lungs to fill completely.
  • Now exhale out of your chest for 3 seconds, allowing about a third of your breath to go. As your chest drops, keep conscious that your ribcage is still lifted and hold for 1–2 seconds.
  • Exhale another third of air from your ribcage for 3 seconds and hold for 1–2 seconds.
  • Now let the final third of air go completely as your navel naturally hugs back towards your spine and naturally hold until the body feels called to the next long smooth inhalation.
  • Repeat 5–10 rounds.

Be cautious that you are making this an unhurried process. Keep the rest of your body loose while maintaining stillness. With practice, Viloma 2 will increase breath capacity while managing mental tension, allowing you to be more responsive instead of reactive.

Viloma 3

By the third stage, you should be feeling a deep connection and control over the flow of your breath. Your breathing should resonate deep into your belly and your body should feel relaxed. Once this is true for you, you will be ready to move into stage 3. Viloma 3 is revitalizing! You will interrupt the breath on both the inhalation and the exhalation, maintaining control over the entire breath cycle. Filling up in 3 parts with a pause, and exhaling in 3 parts with a pause.

  • Come back to your natural breath.
  • Do a couple rounds of long steady inhales and exhales.
  • Begin the third stage on an inhale, deep into the belly for 3 seconds, and pause for another 1–2 seconds.
  • Continue inhaling up into your ribcage for 3 seconds, and pausing once more for 1–2 seconds.
  • The last third of your breath will move into your chest for 3 seconds bringing you to a full breath. You will hold here at the top for 1–2 seconds.
  • Begin to exhale out from your chest for 3 seconds and about a third of the way through your breath. Hold here, keeping your sternum up for 1–2 seconds.
  • Continue exhaling out the ribcage for another third of your breath and hold once again for 1–2 seconds.
  • The last third of breath leaves your body in the final 3 seconds of the round. This time followed by a longer hold. Unforced but pleasantly empty of air until your body naturally inhales into the next wave of breath.
  • Continue for 5–10 rounds.

With each round the breath capacity develops and with practice the pause and hold times can become longer. This slows the breath and the mind, helping you to open up to the subtlety of your body and navigate through thoughts in your head with more clarity and focus.

Putting it all together

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Breathwork Coach, Pulmonaut Explorer, & Content Creator. Taking it one breath at a time. Join me at BreathMindset, https://courses.heart-lightstudios.com/breath

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Mary Clymer

Mary Clymer

Breathwork Coach, Pulmonaut Explorer, & Content Creator. Taking it one breath at a time. Join me at BreathMindset, https://courses.heart-lightstudios.com/breath