In Sanskrit Kapal means forehead and bhati means shining or glow thus literally this breathing technique brings glow to the forehead of the practitioner. Kapalbhati is essentially a voluntary abdominal breathing. `Puraka`(Inhalation) and `rechaka`(Exhalation) are gone through in a quick succession with the help of the abdominal muscles. There is no retention of breath in kapalbhati. Rechaka is more important part of this practice. In normal breathing the process of inhalation is active and the phase of exhalation is passive but in kapalbhati, puraka is passive and rechaka is active in nature.
Kapalabhati is done in a sitting posture, you can opt any comfortable position. Your spine should be straight. Breath normally at first and when composed start this breathing exercise. Inhale as normal and exhale quickly through both nostrils, producing a puffing sound. Your abdomen muscles should be contracted with each exhalation. The breath should be expelled fully. Inhaling is automatic – the abdominal muscles will relax automatically. Start practicing Kapalbhati pranayama with 30 to 50 breaths then increase for about 5 minutes and gradually to a maximum of 10 minutes. You may take short breaks when you start out on this yogic breathing exercise.
Benefits of Kapalbhati Pranayam
The movement of the belly in this breathing exercise is very good for digestive system. It massages all abdominal organs as spleen, pancreas, liver, kidneys, bladder, gall bladder, ovaries, fallopian tubes and urinary tract. With regular practice of Kapalbhati, this stimulate digestion and activate the Apan Vayu, which also helps digesting food. It works with complete digestive system, metabolism and intestines and helps to digest even food which is stuck in the intestines.People who suffered from constipation and other digestion problems have got big relief through the practice of Kapalbhati. Low appetite and anorexia – if not caused psychologically – are also results of irregular digestion and problems with the metabolism. Kapalbhati solves those digestion problems and can thus increase your appetite again.
The exercise reduces Pitta, acidity in the body.
Diseases of the Respiratory system like asthma, cold, sinusitis and bronchitis can be relieved with this Pranayam.
Kapalbathi increases the air and blood circulation in the upper body and brain and with it ears, eyes and nose. With this help to the blood circulation, it lowers the chances of getting stroke and heart-attacks.
This Pranayam is a good way to release anger, stress and any mental discomfort.
It brings a radiance and glow to your body.
As the removal of carbon-dioxide from the body is initiated, so it leads to blood purification also. This makes your skin healthy and beautiful.
It improves body posture and enhances bone’s flexibility in joints.