Yogic Q & A: WHAT IS KAPALABHATI PRANAYAMA?

Kapalabhati Pranayama, also known as "Breath of Fire" or "Skull Shining Breath", is an intermediate to advanced breathing exercise that is invigorating, cleansing, and promotes alertness of the mind. 
As the practitioner begins a comfortable seated position, the exhalations are rapid in cadence and consistency, while the inhalations occur naturally and passively. The action of the belly button will automatically engage in a 'snapping' movement as it expands on the inhalations and draws back towards the spine on the exhalations. The faster the rhythm of the pranayama, the more the belly will perform a 'pumping' action. Due to its advanced qualities, most beginners commit to a Kapalabhati that is slower and shorter in duration, ranging from 1 to 2 minutes with 2 to 3 intervals. Gradually, as the practitioner picks up the pace, the duration practice can be extended to 5 to 7 minutes with 3 to 4 intervals. 


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? 

Primary:

  • Quickly oxygenates your blood, thus helping the body detoxify itself and remove waste more effectively.
  • Builds lung capacity and helps purify the respiratory system.
  • Generates heat and increases your level of energy by activating the energy flows in your body.
  • Synchronizes your entire system under one rhythm, thus promoting greater internal harmony and health.

Secondary:

  • Balances and strengthens the Nervous System.
  • Magnifies the benefits of exercises done in conjunction with this breath.
  • When practiced at a rapid pace, the pulsating of the diaphragm massages the internal organs, thus improving the digestive system