Kapalabhati is a pranayama masterpiece, which is amazing given its tremendous effects: mental clarity, enhanced vitality, spiritual awakening…
I promised you several different techniques in our introduction to pranayama, such as brahmari, the bumblebee, and today, kapalabhati.
That’s a term I’m sure you’ve all heard!
This type of breathing is a classic in any yoga practice since it is so effective. Know more about Kapalabhati Pranayama from 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course in Rishikesh.
Do you wish to boost your general energy, sharpen your mental focus, and awaken your third eye?
What exactly does kapalabhati mean?
“Kapala” means “skull,” and “bhati” means “light”; “bhati” also means “to shine,” “to clean.” The entire phrase can be translated as “washing the skull.” The air ducts in the head, including the nostrils, turbinates, and other air passageways, are referred to as the “skull.”
As a result, this pranayama can also be used as a kriya or internal cleansing practice.
Imagine how lovely you’ll feel after your head is clean and sparkling on the inside; it’ll be like a true brain bath! Doesn’t that tell you something?
What are the several advantages of kapalabhati?
The physical and spiritual benefits of incorporating this breathing method into your practice are numerous.
Kapalabhati has physical benefits
This pranayama enhances the passage of oxygen to the brain, which can help you improve your concentration and memory by clarifying what was previously unclear through internal purification.
Kapalabhati, on the other hand, aids in the release of mental barriers.
Kapalabhati works on the respiratory system and abdominal muscles, enhancing muscle tone, lung capacity, toxin elimination, boosting immunity, and aiding weight loss. weight.
This procedure also helps to increase the flexibility of the diaphragm because it is highly mobilized and so becomes more flexible, lowering the chance of developing a hernia significantly.
And, because of the interior massage and purification it provides, such technique aids in the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments, diabetes, and asthma.
In any case, increased oxygenation of the body aids in bettering the overall functioning of the body.
From the viewpoint of energy
This pranayama aids in the opening of the upper chakras, particularly the 6th and 7th chakras, which serve as doorways to intuition, higher thinking, and enlightenment. It can assist you in achieving a deep sense of inner peace, receiving answers and guidance, and connecting with your spirit guides.
Read More: Clavicular Breathing
If we do a quick recap of advantages
- Rejection of leftover air from the lungs, resulting in dirty air removal.
- Rejection of CO2 and bodily cleansing
- Tissue oxygenation is crucial for everyone, but especially for those who are sedentary.
- The diaphragm massages the entire heart and abdominal region, promoting blood circulation.
- Purification and preservation of lung tissue flexibility, as well as improved gas exchange
- The diaphragm’s elasticity and mobility are maintained.
- Maintenance of the abdominal belt
- Internal organ massage, particularly of the heart muscle, as well as tonicity of the digestive system and its attached glands, improved.
- To improve efficiency, the neurovegetative nervous system is soothed.
- The liver, spleen, pancreas, and abdominal muscles are all fortified.
- Digestion has improved.
- Sinus Relief and Eye Refreshment
- Kapalabhati is restorative pranayama that warms the body. As a result, it raises Pitta and lowers Kapha.
- It is beneficial to Vata when carefully practiced since it enhances overall energy levels.
- Mental clarity is improved.
- The thyroid gland is stimulated. It is a beneficial workout for those with hypothyroidism.
How to reap all of the kapalabhati’s benefits – method
Small, quick, and energetic exhalations are used in Kapalabhati, and they are done “in bursts.”
The inspiration is generally performed passively between two expirations. Kapalabhati is distinguished from habitual breathing by the aggressive nature of inspiration and the passive nature of expiration.
The exhalation is frequently slower than the inhalation in Pranayama. In Kapalabhati, the situation is the polar opposite. Exhalation is quick (less than a tenth of a second), while inspiration takes between 3 and 8 tenths of a second.
The thorax does not move during Kapalabhati since it is pumped out and blocked in the inspiration position before beginning. Expiratory movement is produced by the diaphragm and the abdominal strap.
I add one last point, which may seem obvious if you’ve already practiced, but it’s preferable to be explicit: Kapalabhati is performed on an empty stomach or outside of the digestive process.
- Sit comfortably with your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and the front of your body clear (cross-legged, on a small cushion, or in a chair). Make space for the solar plexus while being careful not to lean on it. The belly is free and protrudes at first, as well as during the inspiratory phases. Make sure your center of gravity is at the lower abdomen, just below the navel. This is significant because we will not attempt to draw the stomach in during air expulsions.
- Inhale deeply, then quickly exhale through your nose. You can feel your belly button filling up, and it extends readily on the following breath. The abdominal strap tightens as it approaches the lower abdomen (and not towards the solar plexus).
- Begin blowing through your nose again, allowing your belly to expand with each passive inhale. The flow of inspiration is uncontrollable.
- After roughly 15 to 30 breaths, take a deep breath in through your nose, filling the top of your lungs as well, and hold your breath for 4 to 5 seconds without inhaling before blowing out through your nose. During Kapalabhati, see the air moving dynamically in and out of your lungs. It is a source of energy as well as a purifier. This final period of breath retention gives a great deal of tranquility and balances the tonic influence of abdominal breathing, therefore it should be respected.
If you do these two exercises twice or three times a week, you will see a lot of benefits.
You’ll have better digestion, as well as reduced exhaustion, more joy in life, and a sense of being energized!
You can perform these two exercises in any order or separately.
Attempt it; you will not be disappointed!
Read More: Different types of pranayama practices
When should you do kapalabhati?
It can be carried out at several times:
- This can be done at the start of a pranayama session to clear out any remaining air and raise the overall level of Prana (vital energy).
- This can also be done at the start of an Asana practice (yoga postures) to allow for proper blood oxygenation.
- Or, if you have a stroke, gather your confidence and, believe me, this pranayama restores energy, despite appearances (since this breathing is energizing, and you would imagine that if you are exhausted, now is not the time).
Tip of the day: if you have to drive and aren’t feeling well, practicing before you start your journey might be beneficial. Of course, this isn’t a replacement for breaks…
Kapalabhati pranayama health risks
It is not easy, and we must take some care, as with any intense practice. In the following situations, kapalabhati should be avoided:
- Vata is aggravated by excessive practice, so avoid it if you’re stressed or tired. A well-dosed practice, on the other hand, boosts overall energy levels.
- Breathing capacity is reduced
- Problems with the heart
- Ear issues (otitis, etc.) or vision issues (retinal detachment, glaucoma)
- Blood pressure that is too high or too low
- If your nose starts to bleed, your ears start to pound, or they become uncomfortable or ringing, stop doing Kapalabhati
This is incredibly beneficial!
Read More: How to choose your Yoga teacher training?