Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Get refreshed with Kapalbhati Pranayama

What is Pranayama?


The word Pranayama refers to the series of breathing exercises that are taught in yoga. According to yoga, the single most important function necessary for the existence of life is breath. You cannot live if you cannot breathe. Also, when you don’t breathe properly, the cells of your body do not receive sufficient oxygen. This in turn leads to many different ailments in the body.

Sadly most people have become used to taking shallow breaths that only utilize the upper portion of their lungs. This leads to a steady state of oxygen deprivation over a period of time. Pranayama can teach you how to breathe fully once again, so that you are using all your lung power to deliver to your cells the oxygen that they so desperately need.

What is Kapalbhati Pranayama?

There are many different kinds of Pranayama exercises. Kapalbhati Pranayama is one of the yoga breathing exercises. It is commonly translated into English as the “Shining Forehead” because ‘Kapala’ means forehead and ‘Bhati’ means to shine. So why does this yoga breathing exercise have such a strange name? Well the truth of the matter is that Kapalbhati Pranayama can actually make your forehead shine. Regular practice of this yoga breathing exercise stimulates the nerves in your brain and imparts a visible glow to your forehead.

How to do Kapalbhati?

Sit down in a comfortable posture. The Padma Asana (Lotus Pose) or Sukha Asana (Easy pose) are the most common postures adopted when performing Kapalbhati Pranayama. However, this yoga breathing exercise can even be performed while seated on a chair. Just keep in mind that your back should be straight. Concentrate on a point on the tip of your nose.

Inhale gently through the nostrils. Now clench your lower abdominal muscle to force the air out explosively through your nostrils. Your diaphragm should visibly rise up while exhaling. Repeat this process.

Kapalbhati Benefits

Kapalbhati Pranayama offers a number of benefits to your body. The first and most obvious benefit of this breathing exercise is that it gives your abdominal muscles a strenuous workout. If you’re looking for those elusive six-pack abs, Kapalbhati Pranayama is one of the best ways to get them. In addition to this, the forceful exhalations help to get rid of any toxins that have collected in your respiratory system. Kapalbhati also helps to reduce lines and wrinkles from your face, especially those irritating lines that appear on your forehead with age.