Kapalbhati-The Detoxifying Breath

Swami Ramdev is credited for reviving the practice of Kapalbhati in India and bringing it to the masses by removing all veils of fear and false beliefs that regular people had associated with the practice of this and related esoteric practices which were once reserved only for the serious yogi.

Kapalbhati is praised as having the ability to free the practitioner of a myriad of diseases, physical or mental. Kapal means skull and bhati means glow. So crudely translated, the practice of this makes one’s skull glow or imparts radiance to one’s face. It helps get rid of phlegm related diseases, impurities, toxins and fat. Those suffering from phlegm related diseases should practice kapalbhati prior to proceeding with Pranayam (alternate nostril breathing).

Kapalbhati consists of rapid exhalation followed by a short and quick inhalation. The focus is on the exhalation part and the inhalation part becomes more of a reflex. Forceful exhalation causes the stomach muscles to automatically contract and get pulled in. This rapid exhalation helps throw out all toxins that get accumulated around the cells and tissues. One should be seated in a comfortable posture, with the spine erect and chin slightly tucked in; hands in gyan mudra (thumb and index finger touching with the remaining fingers pointing away). In the beginning one should try to do it for a count of 30. If you feel dizzy, lie down and take a break and proceed at a slower pace. As you build up, you will no longer feel dizzy. Kapalbhati may be practiced comfortably for 5 minutes, but for no more than 10 minutes. While performing Kapalbhati, it is advisable to visualize all the impurities, toxins and negativity exiting one’s body.

NOTE: People suffering from high blood pressure, heart issues, retinal problems, stroke, asthma, hernia etc should not do kapalbhati.  Kapalbhati should be done on an empty stomach or at least 3 hours after a meal.

There are numerous videos online that demonstrate kapalbhati.  Below is one by Swami Ramdev.


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