Kapal= Skull ; Bhati = Shining ; Pranayama = Breathing technique
Kapalbhati pranayama also known as the skull shining breathing technique. From the name itself, you can tell that this breathing technique helps to bring out the natural glow.
This pranayama generates internal heat in the body and considered as a kriya or internal purification as it detoxify the brain, removing toxins and waste materials form the body.
During normal breathing, inhalation is active while exhalation is passive. However, kapalbhati is the reverse of normal breathing. It is also called the breath of fire as it is done with active, short and forceful exhalation and inhalation is passive.
• Increased lung capacity and strengthening them.
• Creating higher level oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide level in the body. Helping in the regulation of acidity and reduce anaemia.
• Improves blood circulation
• Promotes radiance to face.
• Clear the subtle energy channel or nadis.
• Increase metabolic rate, helping in weight loss.
• Energised the nervous system, activating brain cell, improving memory and concentration power.
• Boosting production on endorphins and up lifting the mood. De-stressed the mind, relieve anxiety and tensions.
• Stimulate abdominal organs, improves digestions and extremely helpful for those with diabetes.
How to do:
- Sit in comfortable cross leg position with straight spine. Relax the face, nose, throat completely. Keep the eyes close.
- Take a few deep breath. On the last inhalation, fill the lungs completely.
- Actively exhale fast and forcefully, throwing or pumping the breath out of the body by contracting the abdominal muscle, pulling the stomach and navel inwards back to the spine.
- Relax the abdomen and air is drawn into the lungs automatically.
- Take 20 such breaths to complete one round of kapalbhati.
- Return the breath to natural state then take another deep inhalation and repeat the process for two more rounds.
Should be done during empty stomach.
Keeping the awareness on the active exhalation, stomach move inward. Forceful exhalation should not be created with chest, shoulders, neck or face muscles.
May increase the number of ‘pumps’ each round over time.
Who should avoid:
o Pregnant woman
o Slipped disc
o Abdominal ulcer
o Recent abdominal surgery
o Stent in blood vessels
o Heart problems
o High blood pressure
Even though kapalbhati pranayama has many benefits, you should always practice with care and within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.