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Kapalabhati Pranayama ("Skull Shining Breath")

This breathing technique can be considered an advanced practice as it requires good control of powerful and passive breathing together with a coordinated movement of your abdominal muscles. Similar to Bhastrika Pranayama, it is usually done on an empty stomach, and women going through pregnancy or menstruation should avoid this practice. The key difference is that Kapalabhati focuses only on exhalations.


Here is the set of instructions:

  1. Begin with an easy seated posture and rest your palms on your knees - Sukhasana ("Easy Pose")

  2. Gently close your eyes and take a moment to focus on your breathing

  3. (Inhale) Take a deep inhale through your nose

  4. (Exhale) Let air escape fully through your nose

  5. Continue deep and long inhalations/exhalations for 3 breaths

  6. (Inhale) On a short and passive inhale, allow air to enter through your nose

  7. (Exhale) On a forceful exhale through your nose, draw your stomach inwards

  8. Repeat Step 6 and 7, focusing on your exhalations

 

Besides being a rejuvenating exercise, Kapalabhati Pranayama can tone your abdominal muscles to an extent, stimulate digestion, and improve metabolism. Sounds good for everyone? It is!

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