Yoga Breathing Exercises

(July 25, 2008)

What is the highest limit of kapalbhati pranayam as far as duration and speed are concerned?


Pranayama is fundamentally the regularization of breathing in the body according to the person's capacity. Kapalbhati is a form of Pranayama along with other types of breathing exercises and breathing techniques such as bhastrika, bahya, anulom-vilom, bhramari, udgeeth and ujjayi. Kapalbhati is supposed to be the most important of all breathing techniques in Pranayama. Kapalbhati helps to bring clarity to the mind as well as in the body. Kapalbhati must be exercised on an empty stomach or after at least 5 hours after any meals. To practice Kapalbhati the individual must be seated in the padmasana, sukhasana or siddhasna posture s it helps to prepare the mind and body for the breathing session. While performing Kapalbhati the focus must be on the forceful exhalation of breathing, while the inhalation must remain passive. The ideal duration of Kapalbhati in a day for any healthy person must be around anywhere between 20 to 25 minutes a day. A daily practice of Kapalbhati helps to ward off obesity and specific skin disorders and serious ailments such as leukemia, carcinoma of the breast, hepatitis and much more.

The duration of Kapalbhati is dependent upon the individual and his or her capacity of practicing it. As long as the individual is comfortable with the speed and duration of the breathing technique, it must be followed. Any kind of obstruction, pain in the chest or stomach when practicing it must immediately be controlled by putting a stop to the practice. The benefits of Kapalbhati have physical as well as psychological benefits. During the process of Kapalbhati the exhalation must be concentrated on getting rid of the negative thoughts, while the inhalation should be on affirmative thoughts to enter the mind, making up a balanced mental framework.

The speed of Kapalbhati must be in quick succession. Under normal circumstance the inhalation and exhalation in Kapalbhati must be one fourth the time of a normal breathing pattern. The inhalation and exhalation in Kapalbhati must follow each other quickly. Kapalbhati helps to purify the lungs and all the respiratory organs. By providing an increased supply of oxygen to all the cells in the body, the blood is further purified and the body gets energized. Kapalbhati must not be performed in the event of an asthma attack, hypertension, or if the person is suffering from heart disorders. During Kapalbhati if you happen to feel dizzy then the practice must be stopped at that moment to let the feeling pass.

Submitted by C D on July 25, 2008 at 05:00

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