How To Do Kapalbhati Pranayama And What Are Its Benefits?

Oct 15, 2022

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The origin of yoga was long back in ancient India and has stayed with us since then. It is not only a physical exercise but a way of living. It refreshes our mind, body and spirit as a whole. Yoga works wonders to reduce your stress and also promotes the complete well-being of a person. There are various types of asanas and pranayamas, but one that outshines the others is the Kapalbhati Yoga or Pranayama.

Let us read on to know more about this particular asana. To begin with, pranayama is a deep breathing exercise that nourishes the brain. There are different benefits of pranayama exercises, and kapalbhati asana is one of them and has many specialties too.

What Is Kapalbhati Pranayama?

It is a type of breathing exercise that promotes the whole body’s good health and well-being. Literally, "kapalbhati" means "shining forehead" in Sanskrit and pranayama means "breathing exercise." It has got such a name because doing kapalbhati is said to improve mental health and intellect. In this particular asana, one sits in a particular position and does the breathing exercises. Before understanding the benefits of kapalbhati, you need to know three types of kapalbhati pranayama/yoga.

Types Of Kapalbhati Yoga -

1. Vatakrama:

In this particular type, you sit cross-legged on the floor and do the breathing exercise. The inhalation technique should follow a passive tone and active exhalation.

2. Vyutkrama:

In this variant of kapalbhati yoga, you need to sniff water in through your nostrils, then let it transfer to your mouth and gradually spit it out.

3. Sheetkrama:

Here, you need to do the exact opposite of the vyutkrama type. That is, you take water in through your mouth and drive it out through your nostrils.

Why do you need this type of pranayama?

Yoga is a significant change in one's lifestyle, and if you can make it a regular habit- then there's better than this. During kapalbhati yoga, you tend to release 80% of the total toxins that are present in the body through the outgoing breath.

And if you are a dedicated person towards yoga, there are a lot of kapalbhati pranayama benefits that are in store for you. The regular practicing of this asana will detoxify your full body. As the name states, kapalbhati will not just add glow to your skin but also give you an intellectual mind that’s quick and developed.

Benefits Of Kapalbhati Pranayama -

  • Kapalbhati increases one’s metabolic rate and helps in losing weight.
  • It somehow clears the subtle energy channels.
  • It stimulates abdominal organs and hence is very significant to those who suffer from diabetes.
  • It ensures that the circulation of blood improves and adds glow to the skin.
  • Improves the digestive system to function properly, absorption and incorporation of nutrients.
  • Regular kapalbhati yoga will make your belly look slim and trim.
  • It also recharges the nervous system and refreshes the brain cells in a person.
  • Finally, it calms and uplifts the mental state of an individual.

The Correct Way Of Doing Kapalbhati Yoga -

Firstly, sit in a comfortable position with an upright spine. Then place your hands on your knees with the palms facing towards the sky and take a deep breath.

Secondly, when you exhale, pull your stomach inside and core muscles of your abdomen and navel, all together towards the spine. Don't force yourself but do it according to your comfort. You might feel a little bit of exertion on your stomach and muscles around it, so you may keep your right hand on the stomach for some added comfort.

Also Read: Best Yoga For Hair Growth And Reduce Hair Fall

Thirdly, you will notice that the breath automatically flows into your lungs when you relax the navel and the abdomen and makes you ready for the continued process. Do these processes repeatedly 20 times in order to complete one set of KAPALBHATI YOGA or pranayama.

Lastly, after completing one round of it, relax by closing your eyes and observing the different sensations in your body. Rest and then continue with two more sets.

Some Pointers For Kapalbhati Pranayama Beginners -

  • The kind of exhalation that is involved in this type of yoga is very active and uses a lot of force. Therefore make sure not to continue it if it causes any kind of pain. Try to throw out your breath with some force to make it really beneficial.
  • You should not worry about the inhaling process as the moment you relax the abdominal muscles; you will see that you can inhale very naturally.
  • Be in your senses and act accordingly to ensure proper exhalation.
  • To achieve proper results, make sure you practice this asana on an empty stomach.

Infographic of Kapalbhati Pranayama. The practitioner sits with an upright posture, focusing on rhythmic and forceful exhalations through the nose, engaging the abdominal muscles. This cleansing breath technique promotes vitality, mental clarity, and detoxification in the practice of pranayama.

Certain Cases Where You Should Avoid Doing Kapalbhati Yoga -

There are certain scenarios in which you are not supposed to do this yoga, as it may cause some kind of adverse effect to that particular person. For instance, a person with an artificial pacemaker or stent is asked not to practise such breathing exercises. It should also be avoided by individuals who suffer from epilepsy, hernia, slip disc or have gone through a recent abdominal surgery.

In women's context, those who have just gone through pregnancy and are in their menstruation period should avoid it too since the kapalbhati yoga incorporates non-stop pressure on the abdominal area. Individuals who suffer from hypertension and heart diseases should practice this yoga/asana only under a professional's guidance.

Also Read: What Is Shalabhasana (Locust Pose), How To Do It And It's Benefits?

Some More Benefits Of Practising Kapalbhati Pranayama -

The list of the benefits of pranayama is endless. So let’s note down some of them that are really significant:

  • When practicing the kapalbhati pranayama, you will find astonishing results as the asana really soothes your eyes and removes dark circles around it. It also ends up de-stressing one’s mind and enhances your mood.
  • It is an excellent way of lessening your chances of getting heartburn, acidity or gas. It improves your lung capacity and thus makes them strong. It is the perfect remedy for asthma and wheezing and terminates the problem of sinusitis.
  • It also stops hair fall and helps to get rid of the issue of premature greying of hair.
  • The best outcome or benefit of pranayama is that it aids in good blood circulation, which promotes hair growth and, in turn, helps to solve the problem of depression and boosts the production of endorphins that makes you feel happy.
  • It increases the rate of metabolism, removes toxins from the body and thus helps in weight loss.
  • This particular yoga asana helps lower blood sugar levels, improves the functioning of kidneys and liver, and makes your bones strong.
  • Kapalbhati is known to slow down an individual's ageing process and can also cure acne and insomnia.

If you are a first-timer to the world of kapalbhati yoga, then slow down right there, and please understand that first, you learn the basic breathing techniques and functions before stepping into the complex ones.

Kapalbhati pranayama is one of the advanced breathing activity. Doing it without any prior knowledge or without the guidance of a professional may lead to more harm and drawbacks than providing you with benefits.

If you are a beginner in yoga and want to practice yoga on regular basis but don’t know how to start properly and the correct way to perform yoga asana, the yoga for beginner’s course is the perfect option for you.

You can join the 100 hour yoga teacher training course from one of the best yoga teacher training in rishikesh.  If you are interested in healing and meditation you can check out the amazing sound healing course in Rishikesh.  


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