Kapalabhati Pranayama or "Cleaning Breath" is an intermediate to advanced pranayama that consists of short, powerful exhales and passive inhales. This practice is also known as the "Breath of Fire." The exercise purifies the lungs and nasal passages. It is a powerful, one of a kind breathing exercise that will help the entire body.
Kapalabhati helps to make the motions of your diaphragm very easy and controlled. This helps it to discard the muscle cramps present in bronchial tubes. A lot of force is used to do this pranayama. While exhaling, the process is very strong and while inhaling, the process is very calming. It is a very energizing technique, and when done correctly it will reboot all your muscles. It is also a cleansing technique that places emphasis on cleaning the air passages and blockages in the chest.
1. Cleanse Yourself of Toxic Air
Kapalabhati clears the body from the constant intake of toxins, thus detoxifying it. This technique helps to replace any toxic air with fresh air. The breathing mainly takes place from the abdomen, as opposed to the chest, and this specifically is what helps to remove the toxic air. Kapala means "the skull" and bhati means "brings lightness." Breathing in this way lightens your skull by extracting problems like sinusitis. This is an invigorating and energizing practice as it fills your stuffy skull with fresh air.
The practice also improves bowel movements which rids the body of the many diseases.
2. Excellent for Respiratory Problems
It is also one of the best exercises for asthma patients and people suffering from respiratory problems. This stimulating breath can do wonders for every single tissue in your body. The breathing technique will invigorate your spine.
3. Increases Blood Circulation
It is also useful for maintaining blood pressure. The abdominal organs also become strengthened from the pressure applied to these organs while breathing and exhaling. It increases the blood circulation due to fresh supply of blood. It is also useful for removing impurities from the blood.
4. Tones Your Abdomen
The abdominal area is toned with the help of this breathing technique. It helps clear the entire nervous system which proves to be very useful in making the body fit.
5. Helps with Decision Making
A sense of calmness is also achieved due to the lightness of the skull. Kapalabhati helps one to think better and make decisions quickly while also keeping the mind alert. This is a wonderful breathing technique to help the mind and soul, as it helps to awaken the spiritual power which heals many problems facing many of us today.
It should also be noted that Kapalabhati Pranayama is not recommended for those who suffer from cardiac problems, hernia and spinal disorders. In addition, those who suffer from severe respiratory infections, colds and nasal obstruction should not perform this breathing and cleansing technique. Most physicians usually ask people suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes to refrain from performing this breathing technique. Those with abdominal ulcers should also avoid performing the technique. If you are pregnant, you should not practice this type of breathing exercise.
Since there are some Kapalabhati risks it is best to perform it only after consulting with a qualified yoga instructor who has practiced this breathing technique and is familiar with it.
Jill Paschal believes Yoga is more than just poses/asanas and that yoga philosophy enhances life on and off the mat. Jill rediscovered yoga after years of working out and running began to take their toll on not just her body, but, her spirit as well. Yoga has led Jill on her own self-discovery and she enjoys sharing her knowledge of how yoga can change anyone’s life with daily practice. Jill continues to take yoga education classes and workshops and will complete her 200 hour RYT training in Goa, India October 2014.