Kapalbhati is one of the most popular and effective pranayama techniques. A breathing exercise that is done to purify the body, mind, and spirit. It also helps to increase the energy in the body. It is an ancient practice that has been used for thousands of years to help people achieve a state of calmness and peace.
The name ‘Kapalbhati’ comes from the Sanskrit words – Kapala, which means “skull” and Bhati, which means “bright”. Regular practice of it leads to a glowing forehead.
It is a breathing technique that can be done anytime and anywhere.
Benefits of Kapalbhati
We can trigger our body’s intrinsic relaxation response by breathing consciously. By gradually regularising our breathing, we can contribute to the reduction of the stress hormone and the activation of the lymphatic system, which is essential for the proper operation of our immune system.
This technique has many benefits, such as:
Increasing the oxygen level in the blood
It is known as an effective way to cleanse the respiratory system and it also improved your lung capacity.
It is also one of the most effective breathing techniques for weight loss. It improves metabolism and digestion, which are key factors for weight loss. It’s also known as the “breath of fire” because it helps burn calories and fat. It’s an effective exercise for weight loss because it strengthens your abdominal muscles.
This breathing practice can help increase blood circulation and make your skin look bright
Improves your digestive tract functioning, absorption, and assimilation of nutrients
Results in a ridged and toned tummy
This restores your energy and reduces brain fog
Uplifts your mood and calms the mind
How to Practice Kapalbhati
It includes a series of rapid inhalations followed by quick, forceful exhalations through the mouth. This technique involves the rapid expulsion of air from the lungs and through the nose, while keeping the throat closed.
Steps to do it right –
Use a Yoga mat as a base
Sit in a comfortable position with your legs crossed. But if you cannot do the exercise with crossed legs, you can even do it sitting on a chair.
Ensure that your back is straight as it helps in awareness and a better flow of blood and oxygen
Keep your hands on the knees, right hand on right knee and left hand on left knee. You can even touch your index finger with your thumb.
Fill both of your lungs with air by taking a deep breath through both nostrils. The breath should be taken slowly and steadily, with attention focused on the airflow and in a relaxed manner.
Exhale Deeply: Bring your stomach closer to your back. As much as you can, bring your navel in contact with your spine. To feel your abdominal muscles contract, place your right hand on your navel. Quickly exhale air once the contraction relaxes you, followed by an instinctive intake. There will be a hissing sound as you exhale. Feel as though everything negative in your body is now escaping. You can feel the air filling your lungs as you relax your stomach.
Repeat above step 10 to 20 times in a row.
It’s important to note that Kapalbhati should not be performed with force or strain, as this can lead to injury, dizziness, and nausea.
In Kapal Bhati, the exhalation is vigorous and energetic. Put your breath out there.
Do not be concerned about inhaling. Natural inhaling will occur after your abdominal muscles are relaxed.
Continually focus on exhaling.
Note: Kapalabhati Pranayama is a powerful breathing technique. It can be challenging to do if you are not used to basic breaths. It is highly recommended that beginners work with a qualified and knowledgeable teacher.