Kapalbhati Pranayama is an efficient and effective Yogic practice which helps a person to oxygenate body. It is a type of breathing exercise which allows the person to get rid of different ailments, especially mental and psychological ones, over a period of time.
Borrowed from Sanskrit words, Kapal meaning Skill, Bhati meaning Shining and Pranayama meaning breathing technique, it is a great practice, if done correctly and consistently, can deliver great results to the practitioner.
Kapalbhati is a breathing technique in which proper process of inhalation and exhalation is done. The inhalation or Puraka, it normal while the exhalation or Rechaka is rapid and forceful. Kumbhaka or holding of breath is not done in Kapalbhati. In this yogic practice, only inhalation and exhalation is carried out. The action or process of exhalation is the major part of Kapalbhati. It has a purifying effect on nerves and the pranic nadis which calms mind and body.
When we consider normal breathing, the inhalation is the active process while the exhalation is a passive one. In case of Kapalbhati, there is a reversal of the process. In this practice, the air is forcefully exhaled by the abdominal muscles as well as the diaphragm, during the exhalation. The abdominal muscles are moved forcefully inward towards the diaphragm which throws out the air. During the inhalation, the lungs fill the breath via normal inhalation. The breath shouldn’t be forced during inhalation process, and it must be carried out as a normal process while the exhalation process must be done forcefully. This pranayama is a practice without any sort of gap between the two respiration processes.
Benefits of Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Purification)
- Its prime physical benefits are weight loss as it works up the respiratory system as well as the abdominal muscles.
- It helps in achieving body tone and better physical state.
- This pranayama cleanses the cranial sinuses, and this helps in relieving from cerebral thrombosis.
- It purifies the nerves as well as pranic channels.
- It clears the mind and helps in controlling the thoughts which essentially leads to increased concentration, focus and peace of mind.
- It is the best practice to be followed to oxygenate the blood.
- By practising Kapalbhati Pranayama, one can regulate the breathing mechanism.
- It improves the function of the digestive tract as well as absorption and assimilation of nutrients which is vital for better health.
- It adds lustre as well as beauty to the face and makes it more radiant.
- It drastically reduces the risk of developing hernias.
- It is an excellent pranayama which should be done to control the effect and reduce the damage due to diabetes. It helps in controlling blood sugar level and hence control diabetes.
- It also helps in controlling obesity and getting rid of excess fats.
Precaution Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Purification)
- The person who is suffering from any heat or acid related gastric issues like ulcers should practice Kapalbhati with extreme caution.
- Kapalbhati shouldn’t be practised by the people who suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke or epilepsy.
- Women shouldn’t practice Kapalbhati during and shortly after the pregnancy.
- People who are suffering from cardiac problems, spinal disorders and hernia, are not recommended to practice Kapalbhati.
- Kapalbhati should be done mostly in the morning or if it is isn’t possible then do it after 4 to 5 hours of taking food.
How to Start Practice Kapalbhati Pranayama:-
- First, you need to sit in a comfortable posture. We advise that you should sit with your backbone straight and also make sure that you fill your lungs with breath.
- Next thing you need to decide is set of rounds in your mind or You can use 7pranayama app which have option to set round and reminder with logs . Set the number rounds you want to do in one minute and also set the time of how many minutes you want to practice it.
- Now, close your eyes.
How Does It Work?
- First, inhale through both of your nostrils in a normal fashion such that your stomach go outside.
- Now exhale through your nostrils forcefully such that your stomach will go deep inside. Like you are leaving your breathe in chunks and your stomach going inside .
- Now repeat from Step 1.
Keep repeating these steps until you have reached the specified time limit that you set for your self.
Also Read – Alternate Nostril Breathing