Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kapalbhati Pranayam

Kapalbhati has been derived from a Sanskrit word; “Kapal” means “forehead” and “bhati,” “glow.”  Therefore, the practice of Kapalbhati enhances glow on the forehead.
 This pranayam is most effective in Vajrasan.  However, if you cannot conveniently adopt that posture, you may sit in any other meditative posture.
  • Sit in any meditative pose, with the spine and head erect.  Relax your shoulders.
  • Bring your hands to Brahma Mudra (See page 312), i.e. clench your fists and place them side-by-side above the navel.  The little finger side of the hands should be toward the navel.  The folded fingers of both hands should be adjacent to each other. 
  • First inhale (Radhey) slowly and then exhale (Krishna) forcefully by contracting your
  • abdomen.
  • Allow the abdominal muscles to relax; thereby, the breath will naturally flow into the lungs.  In this pranayam, effort is not used for inhalation; it occurs naturally. 
  • In Kapalbhati, it is important to note that the breathing should be performed with the use of the stomach; there should not be any use of the chest and the shoulders.  
  • While practicing this, one should be aware of the contraction and especially, the relaxing expansion of the abdominal muscles to allow the air in.
  • This completes one cycle; practice 60 cycles.  This makes one chakra.  In the beginning you may get tired after 10 to 15 cycles.  Over a few weeks, you will be able to reach one chakra. 
  • With a regular practice, you can go up to five chakras, with short breaks in between. 
The exhalation is done in 1/4th of a second.  The inhalation is done in 3/4th of a second.  So, one cycle of Kapalbhati Pranayam is completed in one second.  In this way, one chakra takes 60 seconds.
Beginners may find this strenuous.  In that case, they may complete one cycle of Kapalbhati in two or three seconds.

  • Kapalbhati alleviates the abdominal problems such as constipation, piles, etc.
  • It activates the kidneys.
  • It helps make u slim by removing the fat from the abdominal region.
  • It helps releive respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, etc. and the elimination of various toxins.
  •  Kapalbhati entirely eliminates blockages in arteries and controls cholesterol.
  • Feminine diseases like uterus cysts, breast cysts, cancer cysts, or any type of cysts in the body are dissolved.
  • It increases oxygen supply and helps in purifying the blood and can even control excess hair loss.
  • If this pranayam is practiced before Roop Dhyan Meditation, concentration increases and mind remains away from negative thoughts.
  • People with high blood pressure, heart problems, spinal problems, epilepsy, hernia, gastric ulcer, slipped-disc, and cervical spondylitis should not do this pranayam.  It is also prohibited during menstrual periods and advanced stages of pregnancy.

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