Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Anuloma Mean?

Anuloma is a Sanskrit word that literally means “with the hair,” from anu (with) and loma (hair), but is often translated as “in a natural order.” In the context of yoga, anuloma is a type of pranayama.

Pranayama is a controlled breathing practice and conscious awareness of the breath used to relax and focus the mind (typically for meditation) and to provide a focusing rhythm for yoga asana practice. It is the fourth limb of Patanjali's eightfold path of yoga as described in the Yoga Sutras.


Yogapedia Explains Anuloma

In anuloma pranayama, the yogi inhales through both nostrils, then uses the thumb of the right hand to close off the right nostril, thereby exhaling through the left nostril. The thumb releases, allowing another inhalation through both nostrils, then the yogi uses the ring and little fingers to close off the left nostril and exhales through the right nostril.

Inverted anuloma is also called pratiloma pranayama. The breathing pattern is simply reversed: One nostril is closed off for the inhalation and the exhalation is through both nostrils.

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