It is inevitable to stay away from the modern lifestyle in this day and age. Developing standard of living and hectic corporate lifestyle has resulted in prolonged screen time and lack of health care which untimely gives way to several health problems. There are different ways that could help you to avert such condition among them, Yoga and especially Kapalbhati Pranayama is the powerful way. It has many health benefits. Here we will learn everything about Kapalbhati benefits, side effects, precautions and more.
What is Kapalbhati Pranayama?
Kapal means forehead, bhati means shining, and pranayama means breathing technique. Kapalbhati is a breathing technique that is taught to beginners to prepare for yoga practices. This involves forceful inhaling through nostrils using lower transverse abdominal muscle. It helps us to remove CO2 debt and increases oxygen infusion in our blood. If we inculcate this breathing method, it will improve blood circulation, clean the abdominal organ, detox our body and give us peace of mind. This technique has an immense impact on our body and mind.
Types of Kapalbhati Breathing Technique
- Vatakrama Kapalbhati (Air Cleaning)
- Vyutkrama Kapalbhati (Sinus Cleansing)
- Sheetkrama Kapalbhati (Mucus Cleaning)
Note: Vatakrama is the most common form of Kapalbhati, which you can do on your own; however, Vyutkrama and Sheetkrama have different kapalbhati steps to be done under the supervision of an expert.
10 Incredible Kapalbhati Benefits for Health, Skin and Hair
Kapalbhati is the practice of active exhalation and passive inhalation that increases the oxygen level and reduces the CO2 level in our body. This practice has a huge impact on us, and this shows up in our internal body, skin, hair and most importantly, peace in mind. Here we have listed amazing benefits of Kapalbhati.
- Detox our body– Kapalbhati pranayama dissolves toxin and body waste and prepares for ejection. It prepares the body for advanced pranayama and yoga practises.
- Weight Loss- This breathing technique releases heat inside the body that encourages fat to dissolve and improves metabolism, resulting in weight loss, which is another advantage of kapalbhati.
- Improves Internal Organs– This enhances the functioning of internal organs like kidneys and liver.
- Digestion– This kriya improves the metabolism and helps with acidity. Also, Kapalbhati benefits in blood circulation that become the curing factor for many diseases.
- Increases Lungs Capacity- Active exhalation forcefully pushes out air from our lungs and decreases CO2 debt in our lungs. Thus Kapalbhati pranayama benefits by supplying oxygen in the dead spaces of lungs that every alveolus (air sacs) actively exchanges oxygen with carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. For people suffering from Asthma, this kriya will help increase the lungs capacity hence improving the respiratory system.
- Strengthens muscle- Forceful breathing involves the diaphragm, rib cage and abdominal muscles. Thus, Kapalbhati benefits by strengthening and toning these muscles, especially the lower transverse abdomen muscle.
- Energize Nerves- Increase in blood circulation directly increases blood flow in every nerve. More flow results in more energy to the nervous system and rejuvenates brain cells to better brain performance. There are many health benefits of yoga that helps your overall wellness.
- Improves concentration- When brain cells are functioning well because of breathing exercise, it has huge impact on concentration and memory. Kapalbhati yoga benefits in increasing positive energy and increases brain capacity.
- Improves Skin- While doing this pranayama, you will sweat that releases the toxins from the skin pores, resulting in a natural glow. Many other Kapalbhati benefits for skin include reducing dark circle, reducing pimples, and making your skin shine.
- Improves Hair- Kapalbhati Pranayam benefits also include growth of hair and improving its quality. This is because blood flow increases in the scalp and provides nourishment to the hair roots. Therefore, Kapalbhati benefits hair health, but there are more yoga poses for hair growth that you can try.
How to Do Kapalbhati Pranayama: Steps of the Kriya
As we have seen kapalbhati benefits for overall health; now the question is how to do it? Moving on, let’s learn correct Kapalbhati steps for reaping all the benefits. Follow the steps of the Kapalbhati Pranayama mentioned below:
- Sit in a crossed-leg yoga position comfortably.
- Keep your hands in Gyan mudra facing the sky and resting on your keens.
- Inhale deeply as far as you can take in.
- Exhale forcefully that requires you to pull your stomach. This will be contracting your rib cage muscles and abdominal muscles.
- Relax and let the airflow in normal breathing.
- Again take a deep breath and forcefully exhale air from your lungs.
- Do the set 20 times and relax in between.
- You will feel the sensation in the abdomen, and you can repeat it four times a day or time it for 15 minutes two times a day.
Note: The duration of doing this yoga varies from person to person, depending on individual health condition. Ideally, the experts say that 30 min Kapalbhati benefits our body immensely.
Who Should Avoid Kapalbhati Yoga?
Kapalbhati is definitely an exercise packed with a multitude of benefits. It can be done by anyone and anywhere; however, there is some health condition when you need to avoid Kapalbhati Yoga. Here we have listed those conditions where you have to be cautious:
- Pregnancy- Women should avoid Kapalbhati during and after pregnancy as the abdominal muscle contracts vigorously, and it might put unnecessary pressure on the baby in them.
- Menstruation- Girls or women should avoid Kapalbhati when they are menstruating. This yoga squeezes the abdomen, and it can increase the discomfort and pain of cramps.
- Abdominal Surgery– If one has gone through any kinds of minor or major abdomen surgery, they should completely avoid Kapal bhati Pranayama. It might have serious consequences, and at worst, it might reopen the surgery stitch.
- Heart Problems- People with heart problem who uses artificial pacemaker should avoid practising this yoga.
- Other health conditions- People suffering from hernia, slip disc, backache, epilepsy, hypertension and other similar conditions should avoid doing this pranayama and do it only under the supervision of experts.
Note- Practicing Kapalbhati Pranayama helps to develop the body and mind but don’t take it as a substitution for medicines. This yoga has many benefits when you learn and practice it under the supervision of an expert teacher. Therefore, practise it only after consulting your doctor.
Kapalbhati Side Effects
Kapalbhati has immense benefits, but it only works when it is done correctly. Otherwise, it may lead to some side effects. In this section, we have mentioned the common side effects of Kapalbhati kriya.
- It can lead to an increase in high blood pressure.
- It may cause a hernia.
- If you practise this when the stomach is full, then it may cause a vomiting tendency.
- Being a beginner, you may feel dizzy after your first session of Kapalbhati.
- If you have less water intake, this pranayama will make your mouth dry.
Tips for Breathing Yoga
While practising breathing yoga, you need to keep in mind some rules as mentioned below:
- The exhalation in the Skull Shining Breathing technique is active and forceful. So, just throw out your breath.
- When you inhale, open or broaden the front of the body and take a deep breathe.
- Active exhalation will compress the front of body.
- After few sets, let the inhalation be natural and give time to relax your abdominal muscle.
- Kapalbhati benefits the most when we are fully aware of our breathing, so do this yoga mindfully.
- Always practice Kapalbhati on an empty stomach.
Kapalbhati pranayama is an effective breathing exercise that is easy to do but has huge impact on our body. Reading about the multitude of Kapalbhtai benefits, sounds unbelievable. The basic reasoning behind its benefits is to increase the amount of oxygen in our blood vessels, and then this oxygenated blood travels throughout our body to nourish and cure diseases. Therefore, this yoga is important to keep us healthy and calm. We hope you got to read and learn Kapalbhati and its benefits. Write to us if you have any queries.
If I have to point out few master benefits of Kapalbhati I would say it detoxes the body, improves blood circulation, calms the mind, and reduces weight.
There is no specific count that is mandatory for Kapalbhati, but a normal person can do around 200 Kapalbhati inhalation and exhalation daily. This will take only 15 minutes every day, but you can increase the rounds and do it upto 30 minutes if you can do it comfortably.
You can do Kapalbhati for weight loss, and it requires you to do nothing but sit and do this breathing exercise. However, consistent practice will result in loss of belly fat under the skin.
Do this breathing technique yoga while closing eyes and sitting in crossed leg position. Stretch out the arms and rest the hands-on knees in Gyan mudra. Take deep inhalation followed by forceful exhalation to eject air from the lungs. This will contract abdominal muscles. Relax for a while and continue the Kapalbhtai rounds.
Kapalbhati Pranayama is the basic breathing technique in yoga. It comes from Sanskrit words, Kapal, which means ‘skull’, and bhati means ‘to shine’. This asana’s core philosophy is to exhale air from the lungs completely and replaces it with fresh air rich in oxygen.
Kaplabhati pranayama effectively increases the oxygen content in our body, and when the blood flow and circulation improves in our body and mind is impacted positively. Every nerve is energized, and that calms our mind and reduces stress.
Kapalbhati is the ultimate cleaning exercise that detoxes and cleans sinuses, mucus, lungs and improves the respiratory system. It also strengthens the diaphragm, rib cage muscle and abdominal muscles.
Yes, one of the benefits of doing Kapalbhati is control of diabetes. If you have a high sugar level in your body, do this asana for 15 to 30 minutes when your stomach is empty.