What is Kapalbhati Pranayam?

Kapalbhati Pranayam is a rapid breathing technique which involves forceful active exhalation and passive inhalation using your abdominal muscles.

This should be practised on an empty stomach. Kapalbhati Pranayama has a lot of benefits like it increases the oxygen levels and thus lung capacity, improves blood circulation, helps in removing toxins, increases the metabolic rate and helps in weight loss it also improves your concentration and memory, cures asthma and sinus, improves your digestion and helps to keep you in a good mood. People with pacemakers, stents, epilepsy, hernia and pregnant women should avoid Kapal Bhati Pranayam. To know more about this breathing technique, read the main article below.

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Kapalbhati Pranayama - Types and Benefits

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Introduction

Stressful situations call on techniques aimed at calming your mind and allaying your fears. Set against this backdrop, yoga proves to be a great tool as it helps you calm down. This particular article seeks to help you understand one particular form of yoga i.e. Kapalbhati Pranayama.

What is Kapalbhati Pranayama?

Kapalbhati Pranayama can be understood to be a complex form of pranayama or breath regulation. It involves a number of rapid breathing techniques that have been tethered to the practice of yoga. By practising these yoga breathing exercises, you help remove the toxins that reside within your body.

When examining the literal meaning of Kapalbhati, ‘kapal’ refers to forehead whereas ‘bhati’ means shining in the Sanskrit language. Therefore, as per yoga experts, Kapalbhati provides its practitioners with a ‘shining forehead’ or is symbolic of a healthy, bright mind.

Types of Kapalbhati Pranayama

There exist three different forms of Kapalbhati pranayama which have been examined below.

Vatakrama Kapalbhati

Yogis are required to focus on how they breathe and are required to rapidly pull their stomach in, in short bursts.

Vyutkrama Kapalbhati

This form of Kapalbhati pranayama involves water being ingested via the nostrils and then being spat out via the mouth.

Sheetkrama Kapalbhati

This form of Kapalbhati pranayama involves water being ingested via the mouth and being removed via the nostrils.

Benefits of Kapalbhati Pranayama

Kapalbhati Pranayama benefits those that practice in tons of different ways. Should you practice it with regularity, these benefits should be even more pronounced. They include the following.

  • Improves Metabolism -

Frequent practise of Kapalbhati pranayama improves metabolism and helps with weight loss.

  • Enhances the Lungs -

The capacity of the lungs improves and they are strengthened.

  • Clears the Nadis -

Subtle energy channels called nadis are cleared with the aid of Kapalbhati pranayama.

  • Helps Abdominal Organs -

Abdominal organs are stimulated with Kapalbhati yoga which is particularly useful for those diagnosed with diabetes.

  • Improves Blood Circulation -

By practising Kapalbhati pranayama you improve blood circulation and your face is likely to glow as a result of it.

  • Improves Digestion -

The digestive tract functions better and is able to absorb and assimilate nutrients with greater ease.

  • Helps Tone the Belly -

Kapalbhati pranayama results in a taut and trimmed down belly.

  • Provides Energy -

The nervous system is energized and brain cells are rejuvenated.

  • Provides Peace -

This practice helps calm the mind.

How to Practice Kapalbhati Pranayama?

Vatakrama Kapalbhati Pranayama requires practitioners to follow the steps mentioned below.

 

  • For starters, the practitioner should be seated comfortably with their spine erect. Their hands must be placed on their knees and their palms should be open to the sky.

  • Now, the practitioner is required to take a deep breath in.

  • As they exhale, they must pull their navel back towards the spine. They must only pull back as much as they can and no more than that. By placing their right hand on their stomach, they can feel their abdominal muscles contract.

  • Once they begin to relax their navel and abdomen their breath will flow into their lungs automatically.

  • 20 such breaths are required to complete a single round of Vatakrama Kapalbhati pranayama.

  • Following the completion of a single round, the practitioner can relax with their eyes closed and observe the sensations that arise within their body.

  • Following this, they can do two more rounds of Kapalbhati pranayama if they’d like.

Beginner’s Tip for Kapalbhati Pranayama

It is important to understand that the exhalation involved in Kapalbhati pranayama is active and forceful owing to which breath must be thrown out in rapid paces. One must not worry about inhalation as the moment abdominal muscles are relaxed inhalation occurs naturally. The primary area of awareness ought to be on breathing out.

How Often Should I do Kapalbhati Pranayama?

Beginners can partake in Kapalbhati pranayama two times a day which involves 3 rounds each made up of 10 to 20 breaths. Over time, once they acquire more experience, they can gradually increase the breaths constituting each round so that they fall in the range of 30 to 40 breaths.

Precautions to Take to Perform Kapalbhati Pranayama

Prior to engaging in any form of Kapalbhati Pranayama it is important for practitioners old and new to take into account the following considerations.

 

  • Both, Vatakrama Kapalbhati pranayama and Sheetkrama Kapalbhati pranayama require ample training and practice and should not be practised without adequate supervision and guidance via an expert.

  • Kapalbhati pranayama is best practiced on an empty stomach.

  • Individuals that have artificial pacemakers or stents must avoid partaking in Kapalbhati pranayama as should those who have epilepsy, slip disc and hernias.

  • Kapalbhati pranayama ought to be avoided during pregnancy and the short time frame that follows it as well during menstruation as it involves fevered abdominal squeezing.

Conclusion

Kapalbhati Pranayama is a particularly important breathing technique in today’s day and age where a number of viruses permeate the air. The best way to ensure you are adequately protected against these viruses, however, is by purchasing a good health insurance plan. This is because good health insurance plans provide you with coverage in the event that you fall sick or suffer from an injury. 

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FAQs on Kapalbhati Pranayama

  • ✔️ How many forms of Kapalbhati pranayama are there?

    There exist three different forms of Kapalbhati pranayama.

  • ✔️What are the names of the different forms of Kapalbhati pranayama?

    The names of the different forms of Kapalbhati pranayama are as follows.

    1. Vatakrama Kapalbhati

    2. Vyutkrama Kapalbhati

    3. Sheetkrama Kapalbhati

  • ✔️Are there any famous Kapalbhati pranayama practitioners?

    Baba Ramdev happens to be a famous Kapalbhati pranayama practitioner.

  • ✔️Can you practice Vyutkrama Kapalbhati on your own?

    No, you are advised to learn and practice Vyutkrama Kapalbhati under the guidance of a trained expert.

  • ✔️Can you practice Sheetkrama Kapalbhati on your own?

    No, you are advised to learn and practice Sheetkrama Kapalbhati under the guidance of a seasoned expert.