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Viloma Pranayama (reverse breath)

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Viloma means opposite.

In Viloma Pranayama the breathing is interrupted throughout the inhalation and/or exhalation. In normal breathing, inhalation and exhalation flow smoothly and evenly.


  • This practice develops control over the breath flow and is an easy method of extending the breath duration.

  • Helps you cool down after an active yoga class.

  • Helps to relieve anxiety.

  • It may be used as a preparation for nadi shodhana and bhastrika.

  • Short forceful breaths will prepare the lungs and musculature for the practices of bhastrika and kapalbhati.

Technique 1: interruption of inhalation

  1. After practicing breath awareness for a few minutes, begin inhalation with a series of short pauses: inhale-pause, inhale-pause, inhale-pause. Continue in this way until the lungs are full.

  2. Imagine that you are breathing up a set of stairs.

  3. On completion of the interrupted inhalation, exhale slowly and smoothly until the lungs are empty.

Technique 2: interruption of exhalation

  1. Practice in the same way, except that inhalation is smooth and full.

  2. Exhalation is interrupted by a series of pauses until the lungs are completely empty.

  3. The number of pauses depends on the individual capacity.

Technique 3: interruption of inhalation and exhalation

  1. This practice combines both interrupted inhalation and interrupted exhalation.

  2. Inhale with a series of pauses until the lungs are full. Then exhale with a series if pauses until the lungs are empty.

  3. Try to control the abdomen, but do not use force. Take a normal respiration between each round.


  • The number of pauses may vary in the 3 techniques, but will normally be from 3 to 5.

  • Practice with the guidance of a teacher!

Hari om!!!

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