Forehead means “Kapal” in Hindi while shine is the meaning of” Bhati”. Hence, by regularly practicing Kapalabhati Pranayam there is a natural glow on the face of the person. This yoga involves a breathing exercise where care is taken on “breathing out” process. “Breathing in” process is allowed to be done in a natural way whereas the breathing out process is done forcefully. No effort is applied for “breathing in”. During this exercise there is natural expansion and shrinkage of the stomach. It helps in curing various ailments of a human body after regular practice over a period of time. Kapalabhati Pranayama helps in the detoxification and purification of mind. Kapalbhati is one of the most popular pranayama technique used all over the world.
Benefits of Kapalbhati Pranayama:
Some people practice this breathing exercise simply for the benefit of relaxation. The yoga has an enormous calming effect on body and mind. However, majority of people practice this yoga for reducing weight and to tone up abdominal muscles because practice of Kapalabhati Pranayama is dependent on the respiratory system and thus improving the body tone. This type of pranayama reduces risk of infection and allergies and clears the passage of respiration. On account of the forceful breathing of Kapalbhati, the infectious material and allergens in the respiratory passage and the lungs are removed from the body by blowing away. This helps in improving the flexibility of diaphragm. The diaphragm gets abundant exercise by this yogic exercise, for becoming more pliable and improving circulation. The risk of developing hernia is minimised drastically as the diaphragm gets more flexible and stronger. Regular practice of Kapalabhati improves the general function of entire body, especially the lower half of the body as it improves the blood circulation in the body. This breathing exercise provides more oxygen flow in the body, resulting in improvement of the capacity of the lung, and an improvement in the respiratory efficiency. This yogic kriya, infuses people with energy each and every time. You can feel the improvement in concentration, heightening of senses and increase in mental acuity. All the diseases related to cough; sinus, allergy, breathing, asthma, etc. are permanently cured by this Kapalbhati pranayama. All the diseases related to heart, lungs and brain, obesity, diabetes, gas, constipation, kidney and prostate are cured permanently by this yoga. The blockage in heart arteries are cleared by this yoga. This pranayama is the best for strengthening the weak intestine.
Although Kapalbhati is successful in improving both body and mind and effectively releasing stress, it may not be beneficial for everybody. It is not recommended to perform this yogic kriya unsupervised on regular basis as certain diseases and disorders may become complicated. It is certainly not recommended for persons suffering from cardiac problems, spinal disorder and hernia. Additionally, people suffering from severe respiratory, nasal obstructions and cold are advised to stay away from this yogic kriya as it may further complicate their problems. Usually the doctors advice patients who suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure not to perform this Kapalbhati pranayama. As there may be some danger in performing Kapalbhati, it is always recommended that it should be performed only after consultation with your doctor and properly qualified yoga instructor and not to start it on your own.
The Process of Kapalbhati
The process of performing Kapalbhati is very straight forward and simple. It has been explained below step by step:
- You should sit with your legs crossed in front of you with your back straight.
- Breathe in deep and exhale forcefully making a hissing sound. Care should be taken to inhale naturally and only exhale forcefully.
- While exhaling your abdominal muscle should be drawn inwardly and should fold.
- While inhaling your abdomen should rise.
Certain Rules of Pranayama
The place for performing pranayama yoga should be chosen carefully. It should be pure, clean, open space preferably besides water, free from bad odours. When there is pollution in excess, the place should be purified by burning incense and lamp of ghee before starting pranayama. Pranayama should be performed in sitting position in padmasan, siddhsan or sukhasan. The mat for sitting should be bad conductor of electricity. The mind should be peaceful and pleasant. If tiredness be felt during pranayama, a small exercise or rest should be taken. For long practice of yoga, the food should preferably be vegetarian, with sufficient quantity of milk, ghee, fruits, etc. Before pranayama, “OHM” should be pronounced long for at least three times. During pranayama, there should not be any stress over face, eyes, nose, etc. The practice of pranayama should be performed very peacefully and with patience. Every kriya should be engaged in a slowly and carefully manner, otherwise it could harm the practitioner. Pranayama should be performed preferably early in the morning and after taking a bath for best benefits.