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Kapalabhati pranayama – Cleansing Breath. The literal translation – “enlightenment skull”, meaning “clean” pranic channels that are in the skull (nasal cavity, partitions and other guides, which moves prana ). Unlike normal respiration, during which exhalation breath is always active, in kapalabhati exhalation active and sharp, and the passive inhalation. In addition, almost all techniques pranayama exhalation longer (twice as long as inspiration), and in kapalabhati – vice versa – short and sharp air emissions, which are accompanied by slow and calm breaths.

performance technique

  • We sit in any comfortable position with your back straight.

  • Fingers of both hands can be kept Chin or Gyana- ( “Dzhnyana-“) mudra.

  • We begin to make active, noisy breaths through the nose;
    breath – spontaneous, due to stomach relaxation. Execution speed – about 1 (for beginners) -2 (advanced) respiratory cycle (breath-breath) in the second. You can breathe out simultaneously with the movement of the second hand watches.

  • The practice is traditionally done in 3 sets of 20-50 cycles or time – 5-7 minutes respite necessary.

  • If the equipment for you become comfortable, increase the number of breaths in their approach, and also can make the delay.

  • For beginners, recommended a delay on the exhale (as they have a cathartic effect), for experienced yogis – inspiratory (because they are full of energy already cleansed the body).

  • In case of delay on the exhale experienced practitioners do 3 bandha ( “Castle”): Jalandhar bandha, Uddiyana bandha and then
    Moola -bandhu – in that order, as it were from the top down.

  • Remove the bottom up bandha – Mula, Uddiyana, Jalandhar.
    In case of delay on inspiration made two bandha: Mula-
    bandha and Jalandhar bandha.
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runtime errors

There is a tendency to equate the duration of exhalation and subsequent inhalation.
Together with excessive muscle tension presses this error – the most common. Breath should be at least three times longer exhalation. Balancing them, we lose the power we need. The main thing in this exercise – expiratory capacity.


Kapalabhati can be recommended as a first exercise in each session of pranayama and at the beginning of each series of asanas to clean the lungs from the remnants of the exhaust air and promote good blood oxygen saturation.

Concentration of attention

Initially concentrate on the correct execution of the exercise: the strength of exhalation, smooth breaths, perform frequency.
Take care that the chest is convex and motionless, and his face relaxed. Later, when you are comfortable with the technique, concentrate on the area below the navel (lower abdomen). It was at this point should be the maximum muscle contraction at the time of expiration. When you relax, also concentrate on this area.


For this practice, there are the same limitations as other practices of pranayama.
People suffering from pronounced lung diseases, should refrain from this exercise. Those who have a heart condition, can perform Kapalabhati, but they require a long period of preparation by the breath to control abdominal muscles. In principle, the disease is not a deterrent. In this case, it only indicates that the lungs are not in the best condition and need to be extremely careful.

video Kapalabhati

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