“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion"”
Robert Pirsig

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Viloma Ujjayi


Viloma Ujjayi is in a way an “opposite” technique to Anuloma Ujjayi.

The breathing cycle in Viloma Ujjayi is:

  1. Inhale through the left nostril (closing the right nostril by applying pressure to the thumb).
  2. Exhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).
  3. Inhale through the right nostril (closing the left nostril by applying pressure to your ring finger).
  4. Exhale with both nostrils open using Ujjayi (throat control).

IMPORTANT: never use two breath control techniques at the same time. In this case when you exhale using Ujjayi, both nostrils are open; when you inhale using nostril control you release the Ujjayi – DO NOT use Ujjayi when using nostril control. This is true for all Pranayama techniques. Ujjayi and nostril control both act as valves to affect the flow of breath – only use one at any given time.

If your practice includes holds then add them where necessary. Like Anuloma Ujjayi –  one round of breathing is made up of two breaths. When practicing, you should always do an even number of breaths – so that the practice remains symmetrical (unless you’ve been given specific instructions by a qualified teacher).

Here is a practice to get acquainted with Viloma Ujjayi. It begins and ends with regular Ujjayi breathing and in the middle the technique is changed to Viloma Ujjayi. Find yourself a comfortable seated position and do the following practice sequence :

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x4 – Ujjayi)

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x4 – Viloma Ujjayi)

1   –   0   – 1.5 –   0   (x4 – Viloma Ujjayi)

1   –   0   –   1   –   0   (x4 – Ujjayi)

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