Pratiloma Pranayama

Prati means opposite. This type of Pranayama is the converse of Anuloma. In it inhalation is alternate through either nostril and then exhalation is through both nostrils as in Ujjayi.


  • Sit in any comfortable position like Padmasana, Siddhasana, or Virasana.
  • Keep the back erect and rigid. Lower the head to the trunk. Rest the chin in the notch between the collar bones. This is a Jalandhara Bandha.
  • Stretch the left arm. Rest the back of the left wrist on the left knee. Perform the Jnana Mudra with the left hand.
  • Bend the right arm at the elbow, and the index and middle fingers towards the palm, keeping them passive. Bring the ring and little fingers towards the thumb.
  • Place the right thumb on the right side of the nose just below the nasal bone and the ring and little fingers on the left side of the nose just below the nasal bone, just above the curve of the fatty tissue of the nostrils.
  • Press the ring and little fingers to block the left side of the nose completely.
  • With the right thumb, press the right side of the fatty tissue.
  • Now inhale slowly and deeply, controlling the aperture of the right nostril with the tip of the thumb nearer the nail, fill the lungs to the brim.
  • Then block the right nostril so that both the nostrils are now blocked.
  • Hold the breath for about 5 to 10 seconds and stay in Mula Bandha.
  • Lower the right hand. Release the Mula Bandha grip. Exhale slowly and deeply as in Ujjayi until the lungs are completely empty.
  • Again raise the right hand to the nose. Inhale through the partially opened left nostril slowly and deeply, keeping the right nostril completely closed.
  • Fill the lungs to the brim.
  • Hold the breath with the Mula Bandha grip from 5 to 10 seconds. The retention of breath after inhalation from either nostril should be of equal duration.
  • Lower the right hand, release the Mula Bandha, exhale slowly and deeply, completely expelling all air from the lungs as in Ujjayi.
  • This completes one cycle of Pratiloma Pranayama.
  • Do 5 to 8 cycles at a stretch.
  • Then lie down in Savasana.


The effects are the same as those of Ujjayi, Nadi Sodhana and Surya Bhedana Pranayama.


  1. Here, as in Anuloma, there is variation in the breath rhythm as the inhalation is longer than the exhalation. This difficult type of Pranayama should, therefore, only be done by advanced pupils.
  2. Persons suffering from blood pressure, heart ailments and nervous disorders should not attempt it, as the results might be disastrous.