Kapalbhati The Yogic Breath of Fire


Kapalbhati is an advanced Pranayama practice that clears and energizes the mind and respiratory system. With its focus on the abdomen and increased heat within the body it also stimulates and improves digestion (Agni).


Kapal is Sanskrit for ‘forehead’ and bhati means ‘light’, ‘splendor’ or ‘knowledge’ and is said be a stimulating massage for the brain!


It is great to clear away the cobwebs, wake you up and prepare you for meditation.


It is quite a dynamic form of pranayama and creates a breathing pattern that is opposite to that of normal breathing. Naturally we pay little attention to how we breathe, but if you were to stop and pay attention, you would notice that our inhalation is active and our exhalation is passive. We breathe in and we breath out. The focus is on the in breath which makes total sense as that is how we sustain life! However, with this practice we reverse this pattern by placing the focus on the out breath. We force the air out and just allow nature to do the rest.



Instructions

  • Sit in a comfortable relaxed position with your spine nice and straight. Close your eyes and relax.

  • Take a deep breath in and release the breath forcefully through your nose and pull your navel back towards your spine. The exhalation should be forceful but without strain, like if you were blowing your nose.

  • Breath in again into your belly, abdomen and chest

  • Pull your belly into your spine and release the breath.

  • Continue in this manner increasing speed as you go.

  • Count 21 breaths and then rest



Important points to remember-

  • The emphasis is on the out breath with the in breath occurring naturally and passively.

  • Breathing should be from the abdomen and not the chest.

  • Stop if you feel dizzy, sick or your nosebleeds


Benefits

  • Cleanses and detoxifies the lungs

  • Clears sinuses

  • Improves digestion

  • Balances and strengthens the nervous system

  • Aids digestion as it stimulates and tones the digestive organs

  • Removes sleepiness

  • Clears the mind of distractions

  • Prepares the mind for meditation

  • Purifies the subtle energy channels of the body in particular Ida and Pingala

  • Cleanses the lover chakras especially the navel chakra

  • Is said to help with childbirth

  • Energizes


Contraindications

  • high blood pressure

  • heart disease

  • hernia,

  • epilepsy

  • vertigo

  • gastric ulcer

  • are pregnant

  • are menstruating


Please try this amazing practice for yourself. You'll be amazed at how good it is!

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