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  • Writer's pictureN Rohit

Adopt Kapalbhati Pranayam to experience numerous health benefits

What is Kapalbhati Pranayama:

The Kapalbhati when translated to English means Kapal = Skull and Bhati = Shining or illuminating. This is also called Skull shining breath.

The regular practice of kapalbhati is known to bring glow on the face.

The Kapalbhati is a Pranayama as well as a one among the Shatkriyas ( Cleansing techniques ). Kapalbhati is known to cleanse the respiratory tract.

This Pranayama is known to be a milder form of Bhastrika Pranayama ( Bellows Breath). The practice of Bhastrika is too strenuous for some pupils so kapalbhati is a good alternative for them.

The technique used in Kapalbhati is passive inhalation and forceful exhalation.

How to Practice Kapalbhati.

1. Kapalbhati must be practiced on an empty stomach and preferably in the early morning. This could be practiced even in the evening provided there’s a gap of at least 4 hours after a meal.

2. It is believed that all Pranayama is highly effective when practiced sitting in padmasana ( Lotus Posture ). Due to stiffness in knees, many who can’t sit in padmasana can sit in Vajrasana or swastikasana. Make sure the spine is erect.

3. Pranayama includes 3 things that is Pooraka( Inhalation ), Rechaka ( Exhalation ), and Kumbhaka ( Breath Retention ). In kapalbhati the kumbhaka is not practiced and more priority is given to Rechaka. ( Forceful exhalation and passive inhalation )

4. A beginner practicing kapalbhati can practice for a minimum of 21 repetitions and 3 sets. Later with experience, this can be increased by more than 100 repetitions.

Cautions while practicing Kapalbhati:

1. Kapalbhati generates Prana to activate the entire body the same as an engine generates energy when the fuel is burned. However, we must know that too much practice of kapalbhati wears out the system hence it is better not to exceed the practice more than 200 repetitions.

2. A person with poor lung capacity must avoid doing Kapalbhati.

3. This pranayama is not recommended for those suffering from High or low blood pressure.

4. Kapalbhati must be avoided if you have undergone recent abdominal surgery.

5. One must avoid this practice during menstruation.

Steps for Practicing Kapalbhati Pranayama:

1. Sit on the mat with both your legs extended forward and bring your right foot on the left thigh and place your left foot on the right thigh. ( The heels must be close to the navel and outer sole on the crease of your thighs)

2. Make sure your spine is erect and both your hands must adopt chin mudra and back or your wrists placed on knees. The chin mudra is done by touching the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger while other fingers are left free.

3. Once you are in the correct seated position as stated above your breathing cycle starts by inhaling normally and forceful exhalation is done by sucking the stomach inside drawing the navel close to the spine. This is one cycle.

4. Repeat the cycle to a minimum of 21 and 3 sets ( 21 cycles is one set ). The cycles of repetition can be increased later with regular practice.

5. Lie down in Shavasana after practicing Kapalbhati.

Benefits of Kapalbhati Pranayama:

1. The practice of Kapalbhati activates the liver and helps it to function properly. The primary function of the liver is to secrete a yellow fluid called bile. The bile helps to breakdown fats, preparing them for further digestion and absorption.

2. Kapalbhati invigorates Spleen which has a main role in warding off infections and also maintain body fluid balance.

3. Activates Pancrease which secretes insulin which has a vital role in the digestion process.

4. Kapalbhati is known to boost energy.

5. It removes acidity and gas related problems.

6. Regular Practice of kapalbhati is beneficial for belly fat loss.

7. The practice of Kapalbhati clears the respiratory tract and purifies by taking out all stale gases out of the lungs.

8. It activates the brain cells and improves memory and focus.

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