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Published on Oct 30, 2009
In Sanskrit, kapala means skull and bhati means shinning. As such, Kapalabhati is a technique, which makes the skull shine or glow. It is not a pranayama, but one of the the Kriya from Shat Karmas (six cleansing processes in Hatha Yoga), which not only cleans the skull but also cleans the entire respiratory track. Guruji Shri Janakinath Brahmachari says, before proceeding to the practice of pranayama, everyone should practice Kapalabhati for a few weeks.
Technique: • Sit in any steady and comfortable posture with back straight, eyes closed and hands on knees. • Exhale forcefully through both nostrils every time giving an inward stroke at abdomen. You will perspire profusely due to the rapid and forceful exhalations. • The focus is on active exhalation whereas inhalation is passive. • The head and trunk should be kept erect throughout the practice. • Do it continuously according to your capacity then stop and allow the mind to relax. Feel the natural cessation of breath. This is the automatic suspension of breath for few seconds or minute. No urge will be there for breathing during this time. This state is known as Keboli Kumbhaka. Enjoy this state of deep silence and wait the normal breath comes back. • Initially you may not be able to do this practice for more than one minute. However, as long as you practices daily with concentration, you will eventually be able to practice 45 minutes at a stretch and such daily practice will yield very good results.
Contra-indications: • Women during Pregnancy should not practice Kapalabhati. • The person suffering from High Blood Pressure or Heart diseases, Ulcer at stomach or intestine, Hernia and Epilepsy also should not practice.
Benefits: • The practice of Kapalabhati cleanses the entire respiratory system and the nasal passage. • It removes spasm in the bronchial tubes and cures asthma. • It allows carbon dioxide to be eliminated on a large scale, which is not possible through the normal breathing rate of 18 to 20 times per minute for an adult. • Through regular practice, it also improves the function of the heart, removes migraine pain, sinusitis, and continuous headache, increases stamina and the breathing capacity of lungs. • It effectively reduces fats around the abdominal area if one practices for a minimum of 45 minutes at a stretch. • Kapalabhati helps to activates Manipura Chakra.