Breathing – a part of us that we do not give much thought to, until we lose it.
As a sufferer of sinusitis and allergies, I’ve always felt that breathing normally is a privilege to have, simply because more often than not, I would have to breathe through my mouth when my allergies flare up.
Pranayama has helped me to be more conscious of my breathing and to be aware when I am breathing through my mouth and not my nose. It has also alleviated some symptoms before asana practice. I find Kapalabhati most effective to help clear out the dirt, bacteria and the mucus from the respiratory tract thus helping in a speedy recovery. It is said that doing it daily improves the immunity of the respiratory tract. When Kapalabhati is practiced before asana practices, I find that my breath work is smoother and more regulated.
In light of Covid-19, I am even more acutely aware of my sinusitis problems when I have to sniff or sneeze when in public. I get self-conscious whenever I have to blow my nose to clear a stuffy nose. Hence, I try to practice Kapalabhati in the morning before leaving the house, in hopes to alleviate the symptoms of sinusitis.
A thing to note about Kapalabhati though, please do not practice it if you fall in the following category:
- Ladies who are having their menstrual cycle
- Pregnant ladies
- Sufferers of high blood pressure
- Anyone who has had any abdominal operations in the last few months
- Sufferers of Asthma
If you are new to the practice, please also watch that you start the practice by doing gentle strokes and not more than 10-12 strokes each time.