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Kapalbhati yoga: one of the shatkriyas of yoga | How kapalbhati benefits your health?
Do you know breathing practices are one of the most effective ways of detoxification? One such healthy breathing practice is kapalbhati yoga. Kapalbhati is a combination of breathing exercise and yoga. Therefore, Kapalbhati yoga is a practice to nurture body, mind, and soul and a way to balance this trinity.
When you focus at the center of the forehead, with your eyes closed, the subtle energy-flow within could be perceived. And thus, yoga provides you the way to shape those energies and bring them to the best life form.
Yoga contributes to the evolution of body, mind, and soul and their distinct strengths by practicing stability and stillness. Attaining different postures provides the energy to flow through parts of your body, which heals the elements.
Also, experts prefer deep breathing while practicing any asanas as it removes internal imbalances and provides strength. Yoga consists of many asanas, many breathing patterns so that you never get bored.
But it seems to be overwhelming to choose the one which you could practice and derive the most of its benefits. One such asana is kapalbhati that provides many health benefits through detoxification.
Regular practice of Kapalbhati yoga helps remove toxins by forceful and quick exhalations. It is more of an exercise, which we practice sitting at a place, appreciating the stillness.
It is considered beneficial for the skin as it eliminates all toxins with the breathing air and brings a natural glow to the face.
What is Kapalbhati breathing?
Kapalbhati yoga is a breathing pattern to clean the windpipe. It is a shatkriya that helps to remove unwanted particles out of your system.
The Shatkriyas are six yoga processes to clean the body. This shuddhikriya does not only clean the windpipe but also improves and influences one’s concentration. How?
The word is a combination of two words Kapal means skull, and Bhati means to shine. As the name suggests, it removes all kinds of impurity from your skull or head, providing the Abha or tej on the face.
The breathing techniques and tactics can clean most of the body’s impurities. Thus being a pattern of breathing, it serves as the best cleansing of the body.
How should we perform Kapalbhati?
The process should be performed sitting in padmasana like in any other breathing practice. Since you need to have your stomach or abdominal muscles relaxed, padmasana is the best to practice among Vajrasana, sukhasana.
The reason why padmasana is preferred for several yoga practices is that it helps you to keep the spine straight, regulates proper blood circulation throughout the body, and keeps all your nerves active for a long time.
However, you are free to opt for any yoga asana that you feel comfortable in. You can either choose a chair or couch to sit on. Also, people suffering from back pain can take the support of a wall or cushions.
Sit in a straight, comfortable position. Keep your hands on your laps. Set your stomach muscles free so that it can move freely during breathe in and out. Take a deep breath.
While being at the position, move your breaths out forcefully from the lungs, followed by a quick shrink of stomach muscles.
Although you can do it in the most comfortable way you like, pulling the stomach makes the exhalation more powerful that aids detoxification.
Let the muscles relax when you inhale. When you release the stomach muscles, after a forceful exhalation, you’ll naturally inhale for the next step.
Again force the breath out from your lungs with contracting abdominal muscles. As a beginner, you should start with 10-20 times of this breathing practice. However, you can gradually increase the breathing cycles to 30 times as you practice regularly.
Kapalbhati tips to make it as beneficial as it can be:
The breathing practices or even pranayama must be followed by some relaxing deep breaths that help your system calm and regain its stability.
During the practice, you only need to focus on the exhalation and pulling your navel inside. You will gradually make up after some regular training.
Avoid practicing Kapalbhati just after meals or snacks because it is so impacting and powerful. There should be at least 3-4 hours of gap between the feast and yoga practice. Doing it empty stomach would be more beneficial for removing the toxins.
Why do Kapalbhati?
Do you know, breathing exercises remove 80% of the toxins from the body? Therefore, the regular practice of Kapalbhati would help you remove all kinds of unwanted particles from your system and builds its immunity.
This way, Kapalbhati proves its name, where to shine doesn’t only mean the outside appearance but the growth of the logical self and other brain functions within.
Benefits of Kapalbhati
1. This yoga practice improves blood circulation throughout the body, providing energy flow in the body. Proper blood circulation and purification during this practice rejuvenate cells and improves skin health, preventing early signs of aging.
2. Kapalbhati is the best breathing exercise to reduce belly fat or weight loss. It works on your abdominal muscles like crunches or planks.
3. The yoga practice also fixes the problem of improper menstruation, which becomes the reason for several other health conditions.
4. The routine of kapalbhati reduces stress, depression, and anxiety. As a part of yoga, it works for your physical as well as emotional health and detoxification.
5. This practice is good for low blood pressure patients as it serves as a vigorous yoga practice, which promotes blood circulation along with purification.
6. Yoga is considered the best method to reduce stress, which helps cure insomnia and provides sound sleep. It induces positive energy in the body by removing toxins. Moreover, it calms the mind and incites the nervous system that helps cure insomnia.
7. Kapalbhati improves digestion and cures constipation, acidity. The muscle involvement, plus detoxification, helps reduce constipation and reduce acidity problems. It also helps the kidney to purify the circulating blood enhancing its functions and allow them to heal.
8. Yoga is the best practice to cure asthma and helps you gain control over it. This breathing exercise purifies the blood, and by removing waste products out of your system, it offers strength to your lungs so that they can function well. It builds lung capacity improving breath volumes.
Who can do Kapalbhati?
At any age, people can easily practice this yoga practice to improve their health at a physical, emotional, or spiritual level.
People who have recently undergone some abdominal surgery or have an injury in their chest should avoid this pranayama.
Also, people using an artificial pacemaker or have health problems like hernia, slip disc, epilepsy must seek a doctor for better health advice. Try to practice this yoga in the guidance of hypertension or heart problems.
Women should avoid this yoga shortly after pregnancy and should have expert’s advice before continuing it during pregnancy.
Also, skip this breathing practice while menstruating as your abdomen goes through changes at that time, and such exercises may cause severe pain.
Yoga practice is good for healing the body and mind but still not a substitute for medicines. In case of any health condition, prefer doing this exercise under the supervision of some health experts.
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