Kapala-Bhati (Shining skull)

The Sanskrit word Kapala means “Skull”, Bhati means “Light / Shining”. One of the best pranayamas which support cleansing toxins from the body rejuvenates and brings shine to the frontal region of the brain.

How to perform?

Sit in a comfortable asana then keep your hands on the knees in jnana mudra/ Vishnu mudra.

Keep your head, neck, and spine in one line and close your eyes gently. (Starting position)

Exhale forcefully through both nostrils while pushing your belly towards your spine. (without making any movement other than your abdominal region and pay all your attention to the exhaling process, as inhalation is a passive process in Kapal-Bhati)

As a beginner try to exhale out 30 to 40 times in a minute. (throughout the practice, try to maintain the same speed for the inward and outward movement of your abdomen)

After 4 to 6 weeks of practice, an advanced practitioner can raise the bar 50 to 60 times in a minute.

Limitations -: People suffering from any heart ailments, hernia, gastric ulcers and women during pregnancy should avoid practicing this asana or practice under expert guidance.

When to practice-:

Always practice pranayama after asanas or Jala-neti and before meditation practice.

As mental fluctuations are less, it is good to practice early in the morning, but may practice any time during the day with an empty stomach or a gap of 4-5 hours after taking food.

“Hatha yoga pradipika” says, once should practice pranayamas after gaining some mastery over asanas or under the supervision of a Guru. Otherwise, your body and mind will behave like a wild animal.

Method of Practice -:

Start with 3-minute continuous practice at the beginning and increase gradually up to 10 minutes.

During summer season 5 minutes practice is good enough.

If you feel tired in between or pain at your lower back/abdomen, take rest for a while and resume.

If you are suffering from diseases like diabetes or obesity then gradually increase the time up to 20 minutes, but strictly under the supervision of an expert or-else, you may gain fatal experience.

Stimulating Charka -: It is one of the best pranayamas which stimulates/activates all seven chakras.

Benefits –:

Face becoming lustrous and attractive with regular practice of this pranayama.

It improves the blood circulation, digestion process, easy removal of waste matter by way of defecation and helps control and cure diseases like obesity, diabetes, constipation, acidity as well as diseases related to intestines/liver/kidney/prostate glands. A continuous push of abdominal cavity towards the spine increases vibration and stimulate prostate glands, intestines, gall-bladder, stomach, pancreas, liver-kidney. Thus, increases the functional capacity of these major organs and secretion of insulin, hormones, bile, etc.

This pranayama controls /cures diseases like allergies, sinus, and blockages. Each and every tissue receives an adequate amount of oxygenated blood, as it improves heart rate, oxygen supply to lungs and blood circulation in the body.

It helps to control diseases related to the heart and lungs. Forceful exhalation removes carbon-di-oxide effectively from the system and supports the lungs to hold and exchange more quantity of oxygen. At the same time, continuous and forceful exhalation clears the passages like arteries, veins, other nerves which increases the to and from the flow of blood to the heart. But one needs to practice under the supervision of an expert.

Excellent help to boost the immunity system and mental capacity. When you continuously stimulate all major and minor organs of the abdominal region, it will improve the functional capacity of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), peripheral nervous system (PNS). As all meridians of this region are interconnected to the Central nervous system.

It prepares the mind for meditation. Because a disease less body and a calm mind can concentrate for a long duration.

Naadi Shodhana / Anulom-viloma (Alternate nostril breathing)

The Sanskrit word Nadi means “Nerve”, sodhan means “Purification”. It is the best pranayama, which purifies and clears the passage of all nerves operating in our body

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to perform?

Sit in a comfortable asana then keep your hands on the knees in jnana mudra/ Vishnu mudra.

Keep your head, neck and spine in one line and close your eyes gently. Starting position)

Place your thumb on the right nostril then place your index and middle fingers gently at middle of your eye-brows.

Inhale slowly and deeply through your left nostril, so that your stomach moves out against your hand.

Next, takeout your thumb and place your little and ring finger on your left nostril then exhale from your right nostril.

Now, without changing the finger position, inhale from right nostril then takeout our little and ring finger.

Next, place your thumb on the right nostril again and exhale out slowly.

This entire process is one full round.

As a beginner practice, 10 rounds at the beginning then increase gradually.

Limitations -: People suffering from any health should practice under the guidance of an expert and never practice breath retention techniques without adequate knowledge and experience.

When to practice-:

Always practice pranayama after asanas or Jala-neti and before meditation practice.

As mental fluctuations are less, it is good to practice early in the morning, but may practice any time during the day with an empty stomach or a gap of 3-4 hours after taking food.

“Hatha yoga pradipika” says, once should practice pranayamas after gaining some mastery over asanas or under the supervision of a Guru. Otherwise, your body and mind will behave like a wild animal.

Method of Practice -:

Select a clean and calm location and make sure to start breathing with your left nostril and also finish it by exhaling from your left nostril.

Start with 10 rounds at the beginning and increase gradually up to 30 rounds.

When you place your fingertips on either side of your nostril, press slightly. So that you will close down the breathing process of that side.

Do not move your head and hand rigorously.

In the beginning, try to lengthen your breath count while inhaling as well as exhaling.

After a few days of practice, exhale more than inhale count.

If you feel tired in between then take rest for a while and resume.

If you are suffering from any type of respiratory diseases then practice under the supervision of an expert.

For more advanced practice, one should learn different counting ratios and other breathing techniques from an experienced teacher.

Stimulating Charka -: It is one of the best pranayamas, stimulates/activates all seven chakras.

Benefits –:

It helps to balance the homeostasis by balancing the three humor’s (doshas -Vata, pitta, and Kapha) in our body.

This pranayama has the capacity of cleansing the body and the mind. As experts say it purifies all your innumerable Nadis or nerves inside the body.

Regular practice of this pranayama, improves the functional capacity of the respiratory system, circulatory system, and immunity system by increasing the inflow of oxygenated blood to all 75 trillion cells and outflow of carbon dioxide from the same. Thus, it helps to control/cure diseases like- blockages in the arteries, high and low blood pressure, migraine pain, depression, stress and anxiety, joint pain, gout, Parkinson’s disease, urination problem, nerve weakness, paralysis, poor vision, cataract, asthma, cough and cold, acidity, sinuses and many more.

The improved respiratory system supplies an adequate amount of oxygenated blood to the brain. So, it improves cognitive skill and functional capacity of the brain.

It brings happiness, enthusiasm, and courage to once life and reduces negative thinking.

Continuous upward and downward movement of the diaphragm stimulates all organs and meridians like – adrenal gland, thymus gland, thyroid gland, medulla oblongata, pituitary gland and finally to the pineal gland. Thus, it brings hormonal balance and proper metabolic rate to the body.

According to “Hatha yoga pradipika”, the continuous and long-duration practice of this pranayama prepares the mind for deep meditation and Kundalini Jagran.

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