Kapal = forehead; bhati = shining; pranayama = breathing technique
How to do Kapalabhati
- Sit comfortably with your spine erect. Place your hands on the knees with palms open to the sky.
- Exhale forcibly using abdominal muscles.
- Inhale passively by relaxing the abdominal muscles.
- Repeat as quickly as possible starting with 60 strokes per minute and increasing gradually upto 120 per minute.
- There is no holding of the breath.
- The rapid active exhalations with passive effortless inhalations are accomplished by flapping movements of the abdomen. At the end of the minute there is an automatic suspension of breath. Enjoy the deep silence of mind associated with this.
- Increases the metabolic rate and aids in weight loss
- Clears the nadis (subtle energy channels)
- Stimulates abdominal organs and thus is extremely useful to those with diabetes
- Improves blood circulation and adds radiance to the face
- Improves digestive tract functioning, absorption, and assimilation of nutrients
- Results in a taut and trimmed down belly
- Energizes the nervous system and rejuvenates brain cells
- Calms and uplifts the mind
Contraindicated in - artificial pacemaker or stent, epilepsy, hernia, backache due to slip disc, or have recently undergone abdominal surgery, during menstruation, during and shortly after pregnancy.
Nadi suddhi pranayama
Nadi = subtle energy channel; Shodhan = cleaning, purification; Pranayama = breathing technique.
How to do Nadi suddhi pranayama
- Sit erect in padmasana (or any other meditative posture). Exhale completely.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand. Inhale slowly, steadily and deeply as long as possible.Follow the entire course of the breath by feeling the movement of air. Do not hold the breath inside .
- Release the right and close the left nostril with the little and ring fingers of the right hand, and breath out through the right nostril.Again breath in through the right nostril and then breath out through the left nostril. This forms one round of nadi suddhi.
- Inhalation and exhalation from each side should be of the same duration.(in the beginning the duration may be unequal).
- AUM can be mentally recited during inhalation and exhalation.
- To start with, one can have nine rounds and this can gradually be increased to about 25 - 30 rounds.
- Early morning and late evening are good for this practise.
- Excellent breathing technique to calm and center the mind.
- Works therapeutically for most circulatory and respiratory problems.
- Releases accumulated stress in the mind and body effectively and helps to relax.
- Helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlates to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.
- Helps purify and balance the nadis - the subtle energy channels, thereby ensuring a smooth flow of prana (life force) through the body.
- Maintains body temperature.
Contraindicated in - Cold, fever, flu, Blocked sinuses, Full stomach, During menstruation