Sleep is an important factor, and sleep loss can cause irritation, anxiety and mood swings. Our world is changing now. We now have people who stay up all night and sleep in the morning. It could be due to shifts, work timings or any other reason. Once you don’t get enough sleep, your body gets tired, and you will not be able to focus fully on your daily routine. Sleep-deprived people are constantly stressed and disturbed. Now, how to fight this? Our ancestors have formed many kinds of yoga for better lung and organ health. One such yoga is Kapalbhati Pranayama. It helps better blood circulation and enhances better sleep. Kapalbhati pranayama benefits your body in more ways than you may know. Read on to find out more.
What exactly is Kapalbhati Pranayama?
Kapalbhati is a combination of two Sanskrit words. Kapala means skull, and Bhati means to shine or illumination. In short, it is yoga that illuminates the skull and helps your brain cells function better. The Kapal Bhati pranayama is a breathing technique that increases the blood flow in the body. The process involves active exhalation and passive inhalation. Kapalbhati pranayama is also known as the breath of fire as it is a purification process where the body is cleaned, and all toxins are removed.
Why should one prefer Kapalbhati Pranayama?
Pranayama itself is one of the best breathing techniques one can ever practise. It increases the oxygen levels in the body and keeps your brain cells active throughout the day. Pranayama also helps in the proper functioning of the body’s different organs. The kapalbhati pranayama is also a breathing technique and is most preferred because it helps in removing the various toxins in the body. The practice involves active exhalation, which helps bring out the carbon dioxide and other toxins deposited in the lungs to let in more air inside. Once more air is allowed inside the lungs, the oxygen level is increased and circulated to all body parts. Therefore, it is important to intake a good amount of oxygen for the body and remove the contamination and toxins in the lungs and various organs.
When can one do Kapalbhati Pranayama?
In general, both yoga and exercise have the maximum benefits when practised on an empty stomach. The best approach to fitness and good health is practising yoga on an empty stomach. After eating food, the body takes a large amount of energy to digest it. The entire energy in the body assists the gastrointestinal system in digesting food and absorbing the nutrients from it. The rate of digestion depends on one’s metabolism. But it is always better to stay on an empty stomach while performing kapalbhati pranayama as it requires a lot of energy. The kapalbhati pranayama yoga benefits are numerous, like strengthening the lungs, maintaining a flat belly, proper blood circulation, etc. It is better to not eat before practising it so that your belly remains flat and easy to inhale and exhale air.
Apart from this, another important thing to be considered is the time to do kapalbhati pranayama. The early morning air is fresh and breezy. Performing kapalbhati pranayama in the mornings just before sunrise helps you attain the maximum benefits out of it. However, if you’re a late-night person or work on different shifts where you cannot afford to spend time for yoga in the mornings, you can still do it in the evenings. All you have to make sure is that you don’t eat anything for about 2 hours before doing the pranayama. Also, make sure your lunch is light and doesn’t leave you with a heavy stomach. Ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day too.
Does Kapalbhati Pranayama Help to Fall Asleep Quickly?
The kapalbhati pranayama yoga benefits us in many ways. It is a great stress buster to those who work tirelessly and have severe work tension. Kapalbhati pranayama relieves all your stress and helps you sleep better. Stress gives pressure to the brain and causes the brain cells to damage quickly. Once you start practising kapalbhati pranayama, you can feel better blood circulation throughout the body, which soothes the brain muscles and automatically puts you to sleep. Sleep defects can be corrected quickly with the help of kapalbhati pranayama. Yoga and pranayama activate the parasympathetic nervous system of the body. Once the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, the body tends to relax and feel free from stress and fatigue. Hence the kapalbhati pranayama yoga benefits are great on regulating sleep disorders and stress in the body.
How to do Kapalbhati Pranayama?
Kapalbhati pranayama is relatively easy and can be performed at home itself. There is no need for any tutor or class to learn how to do kapalbhati pranayama. Practising kapalbhati pranayama benefits your immune system and relieves stress giving you a good night's sleep. Continuous practice will also help you evolve and develop better health. Our breath is one of the best remedies to cope with panic and anxiety. Although it cannot be done in one day, slow and steady practice can show great breath control and healing results. We can also stay calm during the toughest and most challenging times. Below is the step by step process on how to do kapalbhati pranayama in the comfort of your very own home.
- Sit on the floor over a yoga mat or a towel. Choose an open place to feel the fresh air. If you don’t have the luxury of a garden or an open space, never mind, sit in your balcony or hall, where you have sufficient space and air circulation. Sit straight with your spine erect and legs folded. Make sure you're comfortable in the posture.
- Once you have settled in your position, stretch out your palms and place them on your thighs just above the knee. Let your palms face the sky.
- Slowly inhale. Concentrate on your breath and take in air into your lungs slowly.
- Once your lungs are full of air, slowly place one hand on your navel to feel your abdominal muscles. Now exhale. Pull your navel back towards the spine as much as possible while exhaling air. You should be able to send the contraction in your abdominal muscles while exhaling.
- Now relax your navel and abdomen. Relaxing helps automatic inhalation of air into the lungs.
- Repeat the same procedure again.
- Do at least 20 such breaths, considered one round of kapalbhati pranayama.
- After each round of kapalbhati pranayama, close your eyes and observe the organs in your body. You will feel a good rush of blood and enthusiasm. Then, relax for about a minute before starting the next round.
- Doing about 3 rounds is ideal to get kapalbhati pranayama yoga benefits.
Kapalbhati Pranayama for Beginners
For beginners who are not used to yoga or pranayama, you can sit in any comfortable position. It need not be on the regular asana pose. You can sit on a chair where the spine is erect and start the breathing exercise. Start with mild inhalation and fast exhalation. Later on, you can practice throwing your breath outside. Close your eyes and relax the body. Remember to keep your body comfortable and at ease while performing this pranayama.
Benefits of Kapalbhati Pranayama
The benefits of kapalbhati pranayama are numerous. It helps you relieve stress due to hectic work and other issues. It keeps the body calm and at ease always. Maintain normal inhalation and work on active exhalation. Keep increasing the intensity of throwing out-breath day by day. It helps remove all the toxins in the body and strengthens the lungs. Once the lungs are fresh and healthy, effective inhalation takes place, increasing the blood circulation throughout the body. Oxygen levels are also increased within the body, reducing stress and giving proper sleep to the individual. It is one of the best ways to deal with sleep and stress.
Kapalbhati Pranayama Precautions
Kapalbhati precautions are mainly for women who have periods and experience pain in the abdomen. Exhaling forcefully might squeeze the abdomen even more, so it is better to avoid the kapalbhati pranayama at the time of menstruation. Also, pregnant women should not do kapalbhati pranayama as a contraction of abdominal muscles might harm the baby inside. Kapalbhati pranayama increases blood circulation and therefore shows an increase in blood pressure in the body. Hence those who have high blood pressure already should avoid kapalbhati pranayama. This applies to those who have heart diseases also. Increased blood flow might harm the arteries in the heart for those with weak arteries. Instead, you can exhale slowly instead of throwing out-breath forcefully.
Any pranayama is good for the body and should be practised daily. The kapalbhati pranayama yoga benefits those who cannot sleep properly at night. It resolves mild breathing issues and keeps you enlightened throughout the day. So follow the said steps for kapalbhati pranayama and keep practising daily. Beginners can start increasing and three to five minutes a day and increase the count gradually. A sound body makes way for a bright mind. Hence it is essential to practise such pranayama to stay fit and healthy.
Kapalbhati pranayama yoga benefits are many. In addition to doing this, it is also highly important to follow a good diet and a healthy lifestyle in order to enjoy all the benefits. This doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours in the kitchen cooking for nutritious food, ‘cause Auric makes the job simple for you. The Weight Balance Juice is one of the best options that you can choose. Just sip it on after your workout and you are sure to reap the best benefits of the pranayama plus healthy juice combo.
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in ayurveda.