Pranayama Session Practice of Kapal Bhati By Yogini Saumya Ji


So we’ll begin with today’s session keep your back and neck straight sit comfortably and when you feel ready very gently close your eyes start connecting with the natural flow of your breathing watch each breath as you inhale and as you exhale slowly shift your attention to your body check your posture check your alignment see if you need to make any adjustment so that you can be in a much better position now

gently come back to your breathing and consciously begin to deepen the breath slow long and deep inhalations slow long and deep exhalations
we will open today’s session by chanting um three times followed by three shanties a deep breath in for Om

Shanti Shanti Shanti’hi

Join your palms together begin to rub your palms together keep your palms on your eyes very slowly while blinking and looking at your palms begin to open up your eyes coming back with a big smile om shanti namaste to everyone let us begin our session for today so yesterday we had finished the practice of nadi shodhna properly and today we are going to start with a new topic and this topic is again very familiar to you guys i think most of you even if you like um have ever practiced pranayama in

your life you would have gone for this practice also right so the name of the practice we are going to cover today is Kapal Bhati k and in modern times this is a pranayama but if you actually go back to the hot yogic texts you will see this thing that this practice is actually a practice of cleansing right so when before the pranayama basically you know the cleansing is done before the pranayama so as per modern yogis and gurus they have included this in the practice of pranayama but

if you follow the traditional approach you will see this thing that this is actually a practice of cleansing or shut karma shut karma you in your pre-recorded videos also if you will see you have certain practices so you have the practice of jal-netti right where you pour the water like you get a special kind of pot and you place that like

adjust that pot into one of your nostrils and then you tilt your head and you let the water move out of the other nostril right so um like jalan even kapalbhati is a cleansing practice and hence it needs to be done before the pranayama practices so that again everything is clear right so the road is clear so that you can do the pranayama practices right

So this term kapal bhati you can divide it into two so where you have written kapal bhati just make a line in between after the term kapal k a p a l you can just divide that and the second word in this is bhati kapal+bhati right so in order to understand the practice more deeply we will first start with the name itself kapal means the forehead this region right this is the kapal right and bhati this means your uh light splendor or

you can also some people they say bhati means knowledge right so when you do kapal bhati basically there is the cleansing of this region which leads to knowledge which leads to light right because you are cleaning this area right which needs to knowledge right so right now this area is not cleansed so there are a lot of things ah that the practitioner may be for some reason or the other there is no understanding right so in a spiritual sense the knowledge is being talked of right when we use the

term bhatti and if you look at it from the point of view of the shatt karma so it is cleaning the mucus right when you do kapalbhati there is so much force that is applied during this practice that by default there is cleansing of the lungs and even the nostril region right if there if you have cold you will understand this thing when you do kapalbhati all the mucous it moves out right so it is a cleansing practice again

so you can see look at it from any point of view at the end of the day it’s just preparing you for the pranayama practices right so again kapalbhati is done in a sitting posture the best posture to do kapalbhati is sitting posture only i will just demonstrate the practice and then i will give you some tips because a lot of people

they again because kapal bhati is very easily seen and it’s easy to mimic the practice most of the people they mimic the practice and they miss out on the points which are very very necessary when one practices kapal bhati right so first i will give you a demonstration proper demonstration of the practice

So for kapalbhati you sit with a straight back and neck so i am just choosing a normal cross leg position you can go ahead and adopt the lotus pose also in fact that is a very good pose for this practice because the body gets locked and okay bhati means shining yes shining knowledge splendid them multiple meanings of bhati uh shining is one of them thank you for uh pointing that out so yeah so i was demonstrating the

practice to you so kapal bhati when you do it you have to make sure your body remains stable and the nature of the practice is such that it will you know give you good reason to move okay so you have to make sure you keep the body stable now some people because they have good stability in their body they just choose to sit normally okay for them it is not problematic but for a beginner maintaining the

stability can become a little bit problematic so some things that you can do to tackle that one thing i already told you you can sit in the lotus pose right so that will lock your body so the movement that will reduce second thing that you can do if you are choosing to sit normally you can place your hands palms facing downwards on the knees like this okay and then you can shift the body weight forward right so when i

place my hands like on my knees and i shift the body weight forward a little bit not too much just a little bit i am uh placing the weight forward so i’m making sure that my lower back remains straight okay when ah kapal bhati is a practice which will have immediate impact on your abdomen and the next immediate impact will come on the lower back right so most people when they practice kapalbhati after that they

experience lower back pain means they have not done the practice properly okay so you have to make sure that your lower back remains straight right okay so then this is the way in which you can do it right

So all of my weight is placed on the knees now and i am tilting my body little bit forward i will look straight okay and then you begin the practice so the practice of kapalbhati you can write it down normally when we inhale active inhalation is passive sorry active and the exhalation is passive in nature but when we do kapal bhati we reverse the process right now my exhalation will become active and my ah inhalation

will become passive how do i achieve this thing i achieve this thing with the help of my abdomen right when i exhale i push my abdomen in i squeeze my abdomen in and because it is done with force the exhalation becomes active and then i just allow the abdomen to expand back i am putting in no effort as a result and consequence of pulling the abdomen in with so much force the ah relaxation of the abdomen is quite normal and hence my inhalation becomes passive in nature okay ok

So i will just demonstrate the practice to you there are three different phases in which you can do this practice ok so if you will see any advanced level practitioner you will notice this thing that they are doing the practice very very fast okay so that is advanced level practice so what most people do in order to mimic the practice of kapal bhati this start doing that practice in this way very fast and they miss out on the main point which is the contraction of the abdomen when you do the active

exhalation okay so my goal should be that my navel should get as close to my spine as possible but when you see somebody who is doing kapal bhati advanced level practitioner and you try to copy you miss out on this thing you merely copy the pace at which they are doing and you miss out on the movement that they are making or the correct kind of movement so even you will you know contract the abdomen but

the contraction will not be at the level at it at which it should be right so you will miss the essence of the practice okay so i would say for a beginner it is okay to start with the slowest pace and then as you you know develop your practice you can move to a medium pace and then when you strengthen the this level of practice then you move

to the more advanced stage which is the ah fast exhalation okay so i will just demonstrate uh the very slow pace and then i will also demonstrate the fast pace to you so that you become aware what i am talking about and you can choose your own pace so there is no hurry right when it comes to pranayama there is no hurry so you can take your time to develop your practice all right so just sitting normally

So i like to go for a few breaths before we begin so this was i would say slow pace you can go slower also right so you can have more gap between both your strokes also so suppose so it is again becoming a little bit more slow so you can decide your own pace the beginning pace right and then as you practice practice practice you develop your practice and finally you move to this stage where you are ready for the

advanced practice so advanced practice is quite fast okay okay so this was fast paced right so last breath when you go for the last exhalation suppose you are going for a round of 20 so the last exhalation has to be quite forceful okay like in my last exhalation also i was expelling out all of the air that was present in my system and then you allow the body to be at an ah like allow the body if it doesn’t want to breathe

it doesn’t want to breathe if it wants to breathe you breathe at the pace at which it wants you to breathe so there is no set breathing pattern after the practice of kapalbhati some people go into automatic retention that is also correct completely fine and some people they breathe they want to breathe that is also okay right there is no restriction on this thing from your first stroke till your last stroke your pressure

should be equal okay these are things that you will be more aware of when you are doing kapalbhati than anybody observing you right so each and every stroke should be done with the same amount of pressure first thing okay then this pressure should be such that from the first time that i’m doing it till the last time it remains consistent so a lot of people who go for the fast form of kapalbhati in the beginning they will

start with a lot of like good strokes and by the end they will lose their breath and their practice will completely go down right and then they will end the practice so this is not correct from the beginning till the end the uniformity in the breath should be visible right yeah can you repeat sorry you muted yourself yes uh sometimes uh voice is great

okay okay wait let me okay i have gotten this closer also so let’s hope it doesn’t happen let me know if it happens again i am connected to the right wi-fi okay um is how is it now is it breaking yes but it’s okay we can hear you and also see you okay so i’ll just switch off my camera for a bit maybe the voice will improve how is the

voice now but i hope when you say long sentence we will understand okay i will just uh recap a little bit okay so i was saying this thing that when you do kapalbhati a lot of people who go for faster strokes what happens at that time is the first few strokes are very good and by the end these strokes lose their you know uh strength right because they are going at such a fast space and their body is not supporting this

thing so when you do kapalbhati you can do this thing right you can do this thing where you are slowing down your pace and like i said you can start with a slower pace your main goal should be from the beginning till the end these strokes remain the same the pressure should remain the same the uh you know frequency or the

gap between two strokes that should also remain the same when you are doing kapalbhati so you have to be careful of this thing this is a very common error that most people make now another like other few points which you should be aware of when it comes to kapalbhati your lower back should be straight throughout if it isn’t you will develop a lower back pain okay

So either go for the other posture that i have told you or lock your body you can go for padmasana but any which way you have to ensure that the lower back remains straight a lot of people when they do kapalbhati what they do is they um their face it becomes very irritated agitated because they are applying so much pressure in the

abdomen right or their shoulders move right so this is again incorrect the main pressure of the air movement it is coming from the abdomen so the face plays no rule so any kind of stress tension or some people you know they exert extra pressure from the nose so that the exhalation takes place so this is again not correct the force is again i am repeating coming from your abdomen and that is enough to make sure

that the air moves out of the body so any kind of face facial changes or movement in the shoulders that is encouraged so these are things that you can use because a lot of students you will teach they will make these errors again and again so these are points and tips for you as teachers right what you have to take care of or keep an

eye out for and if you are also doing this thing then start to work on these things in your personal practice now kapalbhati as you see it is an intense practice so it is where and it is involving the abdominal muscles so it is very essential that there is a gap of three to four hours between a male and the practice of kapalbhati best way is to practice empty stomach but just in case you are going for an evening practice just

make sure that three to four hours gap is there never practice kapalbhati at night okay because kapalbhati has the tendency to you know wake you up okay it removes that laziness and dizziness okay at any point of time if you or any of your students they will feel uncomfortable or dizzy ask them to completely suspend the practice and do deep breathing so that they are able to come to a come back to a normal state

let let’s look at some contraindications and then we will look at some benefits and then we will practice i hope my voice is not breaking i mean it’s clear you are able to get everything yes okay great great great so uh contraindications contra when it comes to the um contraindications for kapalbhati first thing any kind of heart patient

they have to avoid this practice high blood pressure again avoid this practice in case of vertigo avoid stroke avoid okay in case of hernia i can avoid it is applying too much pressure okay and even in the case of gastric ulcer you have to not perform kapalbhati so now onwards there are lot of contraindications that i will be sharing so just make sure you have all of them because a lot of your students who will come in

learn from you they will have some difficulty or the other so you should know pranayama practices like you know some asana practices they are not for everybody so you have to be careful what you are introducing to them and the um one yes higher blood pressure yes yes yes vertigo vertigo um and then pep uh sorry gastric ulcers when you have gastric ulcers you should not do kapalbhati

right okay so just be careful if somebody is coming in with these issues during menstruation goes without saying this practice should not be done because at that point of time it is the lower abdominal region you know that area is already under a lot of stress so if you go ahead to kapalbhati you will increase your pain okay let’s


look at the benefits of kapalbhati again has multiple benefits it is a great cleansing practice as i said in the beginning so your lungs your the mucus in the sinuses it gets cleansed very quickly and easily when you do kapalbhati when you do this practice again the body heat also goes up so some practices of some practices they will

reduce the heat of the body and some of them will increase so kapalbhati is a practice which increases the heat or the temperature of the body so if you are right now at a current temperature then you do kapalbhati then at the end you will feel that the body temperature has risen because you exert so much pressure from your abdomen the abdominal muscles gets uh get toned uh your all the digestive organs

they get stimulated all abdominal organs are getting stimulated digestion becomes much much better when one practices kapalbhati and i told you even forehead region that cleansing is taking place then your entire circulation everything it is having an impact on your nervous system as well right it the nervous system it gets more like active and kapalbhati is a great practice if you feel very sleepy if you you know

tend to be very mentally dull so anybody around you if you feel they are very mentally dull you can make them practice kapalbhati they will be ready for more work they will feel more energized and they will also at the same time uh you know be able to file fight this sleepiness so some people by default or by no apparent cause their mind remains very dull and it’s okay all they have to do is get more active so

kapal bhati provides that kind of activeness so in breathing this is what they can do apart from this there are of course a lot of other benefits also but these benefits are enough right when you take classes even these many benefits it will be very hard to speak all of them and it is always good to add benefits when you give instructions to someone you are teaching it gives them the motivation to continue their practice so

benefit should always be one thing it should be on your tips basically so if there are any questions doubts queries please let me know okay all right so no questions okay so guys i will not tell you what pace to choose check yourself today what page suits you best and i would say start with the slowest pace just to see if you are good at it

then you can increase your pace so we are going to practice kapalbhati so you can keep your books notebooks aside and wherever you are you can sit comfortably keep your balcony straight and then just close your eyes begin to connect with your breathing go for the natural flow of the breathing don’t change the pattern of your breath

slowly shift your attention to your body be stable and comfortable in whatever chores you have whatever pose you have chosen gently come back to your breathing and slowly elongate the breath prepare yourself for the first practice for today which is abdominal breathing you can choose to keep one hand on your abdomen or you can just relax your hands as you inhale feel your abdomen rise and expand as you

exhale contract your abdomen allow all the air to move out of your system continue this cycle when you inhale your abdomen should move out when you exhale your abdomen should move in keep deepening your breath after your next trunk completely suspend your practice come back to the natural breathing and just observe the change that has come up after the practice of abdominal breathing we are going to directly practice kapalbhati

so if you feel the need you can place your palms on your knees and shift your body weight forward we are going to take three breaths total so two breaths we are going to complete normally and then on the third breath after the inhalation we begin with the practice of kapalbhati with the exhalation just ensure your lower back is straight and now just follow my instructions take a deep inhalation exhale deeply inhale

deeply exhale deeply inhale deeply and begin the practice of kapalbhati going for 20 rounds so on the last exhalation exhale out the breath fully you can release your hands shift your body weight back in the center just allow your body to breathe as it wants to breathe you can keep your focus on your abdomen or on the area between

both your eyebrows just feel the impact of kapalbhati we are going to go for two more rounds keep your back in next straight again if you feel the need you can form the required like opt the required position you can place your palms on your knees and shift your body weight forward

we are going to go for the three breaths take a deep inhalation exhale inhale exhale inhale and now begin the practice of kapalbhati this time going for 25 strokes on your now last breath exhale fully and then just allow the breathing to flow you can relax your hands and move your body weight back to the center see the changes that have come in after your practice hmm if you feel uncomfortable or dizzy at any time

completely suspend your practice and go for deep breathing we are going to get ready for one last round so keep your back in next straight and we are going to begin with the three breaths take a deep inhalation exhale inhale exhale inhale and with the exhalation begin kapalbhati go for anywhere between 25 to 30 rounds if it’s not comfortable for you just go for 25 or 20 rounds on your last breath exhale out all the

air from your body and then just check if your body wants to breathe let it breathe don’t change the pace don’t change the rhythm keep your back neck straight we will close today’s session by chanting um one time followed by three shanties first take one deep breath take a deep inhalation and exhale out all the air inhale deeply

forward so feel the vibrations join your palms together and gently powder begin to rub your palms together keep your palms on your eyes we will do this two more times rub your palms together keep them on the ice last time rub the palms together keep them on your eyes very slowly while blinking and looking at your palms begin to open up your eyes coming back with a big smile on your face om shanti namaste to everyone.

Other good articles –