We are all aware of how crucial regular exercise is for preventing health problems. Some people find it difficult to exercise, while others think it is pricey to join a gym. Being fit shouldn’t come at a high cost for anyone, in all honesty.
When the above happens, yoga can help since it can be practised at home with little or no equipment. Yoga is a kind of exercise that has roots in India and has been practised here for more than 2000 years. Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘YUJ,’ which means ‘to connect’ in english.
The term ‘Yoga’ signifies the ‘joining’ of the physical body with the mind and soul. The different physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama) in yoga helps to boost both the mental and physical health of a person.
One of the most well-known types of pranayama is kapalbhati. In fact, Kapabhati and other related simple pranayamas are where practically all beginners begin their pranayama journey. There are many advantages to Kapalbhati, which is why it is so adored by yoga and pranayama practitioners.
Read this blog till the end and you will be motivated enough to try Kapalbhati in your next workout session.
What is kapalbhati?
Yoga includes a variety of breathing techniques known as pranayamas. It includes Kapalbhati.
‘Kapal’ is the sanskrit word for ‘head’ or ‘skull,’ and ‘bhati’ is a sanskrit word for ‘shining.’ While the majority of yoga breathing exercises emphasise managing the inhalation muscles, the fast-paced breathing practice it employs the abdominal muscles to produce energetic, quick, and powerful exhalations while the inhalations are effortless and passive. As a result, the way that muscle control is used during breathing is reversed (Vyutkrama).
The body is stimulated, cleansed, and heated by this exercise. It accelerates heartbeats, which enhances blood flow and oxygen levels. It increases lung strength and functioning clearing the nasal passages of any congestion. This helps tone the muscles of the abdomen while providing good stimulation to the internal abdominal organs. Also assists in improving concentration levels and exerts an overall relaxing effect.
Benefits of kapalbhati
This is one of the cleansing practices (shuddhi kriya) in Yoga. It is also referred to as the frontal brain purification technique. Some of the probable benefits of Kapalbhati are:
Kapalbhati helps in managing blood pressure
In one trial, subjects were instructed to perform kapalbhati, and their readings were taken right away and three minutes later. It showed that while blood pressure rose right away after practising, it significantly dropped three minutes later.
This demonstrates how Kapalbhati can help people with high blood pressure. Those who already have high blood pressure should exercise caution because it is rumoured to significantly raise blood pressure initially. This must be performed by people with high blood pressure under the guidance of a certified and skilled yoga instructor.
Kapalbhati helps in weight loss
It can help in weight loss. An eight-week research on 60 obese doctors who practised it six days a week revealed weight loss and a thinned abdominal skin fold. The intense abdominal contractions are probably to blame for this. The respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal system internally, and the abdomen externally may all be stimulated by these contractions.
Certain brain regions are simultaneously stimulated as a result, increasing the body’s hormonal and metabolic activity. It is believed that weight loss and a decrease in the thickness of the abdominal skin folds happen in conjunction with an increase in basal metabolic rate.
Kapalbhati helps in relieving respiratory conditions
It is thought to expand the capacity of the lungs. Kapalbhati is a breathing technique that employs both the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles, which may help clear mucus from the bronchi and alveoli and increase the amount of air in the lungs. Additionally, it maintains the sinuses and nasal passageways clear of congestion and may enhance lung function.
Kapalbhati is good for mental health
Kapalbhati may be helpful to calm and relax the mind. For those who have mood swings and mild anxiety concerns, it could be helpful. It could improve mood and aid in complete relaxation. It could be advantageous for raising focus levels. As a result, it contributes to overall general emotional health.
Helps with managing Type 2 Diabetes
Kapalbhati is said to provide several advantages for those who have type 2 diabetes. Kapalbhati’s powerful exhalations are said to stimulate the pancreas to release the hormone insulin, which controls blood sugar levels, by applying pressure to the belly. Those with past its expertise should aim for five rounds of 120 strokes, as it may help with Type 2 Diabetes control.
How to do kapalbhati?
- Sit comfortably with your spine straight. Place your hands on the knees with palms open towards the sky.
- Take a deep breath in.
- As you exhale, pull your navel back towards the spine. Do as much as you comfortably can. You may keep your right hand on the stomach to feel the abdominal muscles contract.
- As you relax the navel and abdomen, the breath flows into your lungs automatically.
- Take 20 such breaths to complete one round of Kapalbhati.
- After completing the round, relax with your eyes closed and observe the sensations in your body.
- Do two more rounds of this breathing exercise.
Fast-paced breathing exercises like Kapalbhati have a purifying impact on the body. Active exhalations and passive inhalations are the key points of emphasis. The extensive list of benefits of This pranayam makes it evident that this practice should be added to your at-home yoga and pranayama routine. Just bear in mind that using the proper technique is essential if you want to get the most out of this pranayama.
Is Kapalbhati dangerous?
Kapalbhati done with the proper technique is not dangerous to our health.
Can I drink water before Kapalbhati?
No, water should not be consumed before Kapalbhati.
Can I practice Kapalbhati at night?
Yes, Kapalbhati Pranayama is a yoga technique that can help you overcome any sleeping problems you may be having and improve the quality of your sleep.
What are the side effects of Kapalbhati?
Patients suffering from stomach ulcers or hernia should not practice Kapalbhati. Those suffering from heart ailments should not do such breathing exercises.