Kapalbhati - you might have heard about this particular type of pranayama that deals with the breathing techniques of a person. Are you still wondering how it is even relevant for you? Then read on to find out how kapalbhati pranayam can change the face of your life.
Kapalbhati is basically a unique breathing technique that helps in balancing your body system in the most perfect manner. It purifies the body and its various systems through the medium of powerful breathing. It uses forceful exhalations and passive inhalation to bring order to your body functioning.
The term ‘kapalbhati’ is derived from two Sanskrit words namely, “kapal” which means “skull” and “bhati” which means “illuminating or shining.” And therefore, Kapalbhati is said to be the yoga practice that leads to the illumination of your skull or rather your brain.
By practicing it on a daily basis, you can detoxify your body and illuminate your senses. It will sharpen your intellect and refine your personality in the best possible manner. The kapalbhati pranayama is said to clear off the blockages in the sinus passages but it has also been found that it can cure various problems as well.
There are three different types of kapalbhati pranayama that are usually practiced on an advanced level:
Vatakrama Kapalbhati - It is a breathing technique in which you breathe in slowly and steadily and breathe out in a powerful and forceful manner.
Vyutkrama Kapalbhati - In this practice, you snuff water into your nostrils and then let it out from your mouth.
Sheetkrama Kapalbhati - It is the opposite of Vyutkrama as in this practice, you need to drink water through the mouth and then let it out through the nostrils.
These are the kapalbhati practices that require a lot of time and effort to accomplish. But it is not impossible to perfect these pranayama forms as this can be done with regular practice and strong determination.
The Science of kapalbhati
Kapalbhati is said to clear off the channels of the body that reach the brain and helps in rejuvenating the nerve cells. It detoxifies the body as well as the mind and ensures that the toxins are released through the brain with the help of forceful exhalation.
As per scientific evidence, the fine dust particles that we inhale reach our brains and obstruct its proper functioning overtime. These particles can also enter our respiratory system and create breathing difficulties.
By performing kapalbhati on a regular basis, these toxic particles can be expelled out of the lungs and the brain through the medium of vigorous exhalations. This is why kapalbhati is a very effective breathing technique that enables the proper functioning of our mind as well as our body.
How to perform kapalbhati?
On a regular basis, you can start with the basic kapalbhati technique that is simple yet effective. Kapalbhati is practiced on an empty stomach and it is preferable to practice this technique during the early hours of morning.
First of all, sit in a comfortable position while keeping your spine erect and your legs crossed. Then place your hands on your knees and make sure that your palms are kept open and are facing the sky. It is said that this is a way through which you can invite the positive energies of the universe.
Now inhale deeply and pull your stomach inwards while breathing out to contract the abdominal muscles as much as you comfortably can. Remember that you need to exhale actively and therefore, keep all you focus on the exhalation part of the exercise. Once you relax your body, the air will automatically refill your lungs. You need to repeat this for around 20 breaths to complete a single round of kapalbhati pranayam.
Also, there are some points that must be kept in mind before starting this exercise. It is not advisable for pregnant and menstruating women as it requires numerous abdominal contractions. Those who are suffering from health issues such as hypertension, backache, epilepsy, etc., are advised not to do this exercise.
There are various benefits of kapalbhati that can help you develop a healthy lifestyle and ensure that you live a fulfilled life. Some of these benefits are:
It increases the metabolism of your body and clears the energy channels for a free flow of energy.
It stimulates the organs related to the abdomen such as stomach, pancreas, etc, and is very effective for those who suffer from diabetes.
Regular practice of kapalbhati enhances the digestive system and ensures that the absorption and assimilation processes function perfectly.
It reduces weight around the belly area and also improves the blood circulation of the body so that you feel an internal glow on your face and body.
It calms the senses and rejuvenates your brain so that you feel happy and stress-free at all times.
Therefore, we may conclude that kapalbhati is a very useful part of pranayama that must be practiced on a regular basis as this would lead to a healthy life and a toned up body.