Kapalbhati Pranayama: How to do it,Steps,Benefits and Precaution - MergeZone

Kapalbhati Pranayama

What is the Kapalbhati Pranayam?

Kapalbhati Pranayama a very powerful breathing technique that not just helps you lose weight but also brings your entire body into a perfect balance. This breathing technique is an intermediate to advanced breathing technique that strengthens your chest, cleans your abdominal organs and energizes your nervous systems. This Kapalbhati Pranayama is also called Skull Shining breathing technique.

Long long day ago, a set of breathing techniques were devised to help the people to maintain their overall helth in a good condition. It is called the yogic breathing technique, and it is an important aspect of yoga. Kapalbhati is one among them, and it has been keeping people healthy and pure since ages.

It is a very technical breathing technique and comes with a variety of benefits. It is a ‘shat’ kriya technique that helps us to getout toxic air from your entire body.


Kapal = forehead; bhati = shining; pranayama = breathing technique. Kapalbhati is a Sanskrit word which means forehead shining breathing exercise. 

Benefits of Kapalbhati Pranayama (Kriya):

Kapalbhati is too beneficial for Physical, Mental, and also Spiritual fitness. Some of the major benefits of Kapalbhati are described below

  • Prepares You For Advanced Pranayama

One of the main reasons to practice Kapalbhati is the preparation of advanced level pranayama in the future. The continuous and daily session of Kapalbhati before any kind of slow breathing pranayama like Nadi Shodhana will help you to increase and control your Breathe retention more easily. As your cells will be pumped up fully with oxygen it needs less air for inhaling and there will be no hurry.

Because of the forceful exhalations through the nose, it also helps to clear the nostrils which are a good thing before an alternate nostril breathing session.

  • Oxygenates “Dead Space” In The Lungs

There are very less breathing techniques in which all of the air in the lungs is fully exchanged. In many cases when we breathe inefficiently some stale air will still remain at the very bottom of our lungs.The forced and deep exhalation practiced in Kapalbhati reduces the CO2 level in our body and increase the O2.

But according to AndrĂ© van Lysebeth(Belgian Yoga Instructor and Author), the deep, forced and rapid exhalation practice in Kapalbhati provides us a “Complete Cleansing Of The Lungs”. He also added that “Pranayama The Energetics of Breath”, he states this is a good preventative measure against tuberculosis.

  • Weight Loss

Kapalbhati is often prescribed by many Ayurvedic doctors for Weight Loss and excess fat around the waist area. And the reason is many doctors think that overweight is a symptom of Kapha and kapalbhati is great and beneficial pranayama to reduce the Kapha level in our body.

Many techniques and tricks of Kapalbhati help to stretch the muscles of the upper body and shape your body by contracting your stomach and releasing your breath. In a study of 8 weeks with 60 overweight people practiced Kapalbhati and they lose their weight in a good shape.

  • Improves DigestionAnd Blood Circulation

Practice of Kapalbhati improves your blood circulation by opening the blockages to channelize your energy flow. The chakras are known to align themselves, by reducing concentrated pain on the joints, and by opening the seal for natural energy to transfer. The human organs get rid of the toxins and become a better functioning aid that protects the body from any internal damages. This gives a boost to the digestive system with a simultaneous increase in metabolism.

Make sure during the practice your stomach is empty and it is recommended to practice every kind of yogic breathing empty stomach especially every Kriyas like Kapalbhati.

  • Strengthens Mula Bandha

When you practice this technique effectively with the strokes very low down in the abdomen, you will automatically use Mula Bandha to generate more force.

This pulsing of Mula Bandha will strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and greatly improve your connection to them. This will help you in your asana practice, your pranayama exercises, and also will prevent you from accidentally weeing yourself in public. You’re welcome.

  • Reduces Kapha Dosha

In Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, there are Three fundamental “Doshas” in total. The first one is “Vata”, the second one is “Pitta” and the last one is “Kapha”. And the aim or the goal is simply to have a balance between these three, but most of us have an imbalanced constitution which leads us to an unhealthy life and illness.

Some Kapha related diseases and symptoms are Lethargy, Obesity, and Excess Phlegm. These Kapha related diseases and symptoms in our body can be improved and reduced by the daily practice of Kapalbhati as it reduces excess Kapha in a great way.

  • Increases Pitta Dosha

After a few seconds of practice, you can feel the heat of Kapalbhati strongly yourself. In terms of Ayurveda, it is known as the increase of Pitta, in simple terms the metabolic fire.

This is good and as well as bad for many people. People who have already excess pitta, for the practice of this pranayama will be detrimental to their health. And Pitta increases naturally in summer times so it is advised not to practice in hot weather and extremely hot country.

But pitta is important for yogis. When purified through various yogic techniques, pitta converts into Agni, which powers Kundalini energy which is the goal of most yogic practices. So it’s good to have lots of pittas, as long as you are also practicing other yogic techniques to convert it into Agni.

  • Activates Manipura Chakra

The Manipura chakra is located at the level of the navel, back towards the spine. After your mastery in Kapalabhati, your lower tibialis anterior muscle will strike the Manipura chakra like a knell and will activate all of its qualities. This will also help you to increase the power and precision of your Kapalabhati.

So the benefits of activating Manipura Chakra also known as the power chakra allow you to express your pov, so once you have a well-balanced Manipura, you can present your point of view and effectively influence others.

  • Stress Buster

It may sound fake to the public, but believe it or not; Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation does have a strong impact on the human mind. This activity helps people to bid their goodbye’s to stress, anxiety, depression, and also decreases the negative emotions of anger, frustration, etc.

For a calm and composure moment, it is recommended to sit in a quiet idle place and practice deep breathing for some time. In that kind of case, Kapalbhati Pranayama helps to relax the muscles with its alternative inhalation and exhalation methods.

  • Mental Health And Emotional Stability

Notice a shift in your behavior by gaining a more mature vision towards your daily obstacles. Every situation becomes a piece of cake when you imbibe a yogic mindset. Consistent breathing exercises cleanse the mind from the clutter and make your perceptions more transparent. The mental health improves after you make a passage through the breathing exercises for some positive thoughts to rest. It gives emotional stability and harmonization in a relaxing environment.

  • Lead To The Mystical State

If practiced effectively for prolonged periods, Kapalabhati can lead to a spontaneous state of objectless Samadhi, which is known as Kevala Kumbhaka.

According to many reputed yogic people if anyone practices a forceful stroke of Kapalbhati more than a hundred times the oxygen level in their blood will be too high and the respiratory center in the brain will stop initiating an inhalation.

And when there is no movement of breath, the mind will suspend and you will enter Samadhi. But I wouldn’t bother trying to do this unless you are a very advanced practitioner. The strokes have to be so precise, rapid, and forceful that only the most experienced practitioners would be able to enter such a state so be careful with that.

  • Others

  1. It helps in curing asthma and sinus.
  2. It erases dark circles from eyes.
  3. Improves Concentration And Memory.
  4. It helps you to get rid of depression and fills you with positivity.
  5. Beneficial for improving the functioning of the kidneys and liver.
  6. It helps to rejuvenate your brain and energizes your nerves.
  7. The regular practice of Kapalbhati will make your face glow radiantly.
  8. It provides Strengthens and tones the lower transverse abdominal muscle.

Kapalbhati steps:

Traditionally, the practice of this kapalbhati pranayama is preferred in some seated yogic asana with maintaining a balance of ease and effort. For those who could not get into the seated postures, they can also perform it on a chair or in lying down position.

After getting into your comfortable pose, Let’s begin kapalbhati pranayama, draw your belly in to force your breath out in shorter intervals of inhaling.

  • 1st Step:Sit in any comfortable yoga position

Firstly you have to relax your whole body, then close your eyes & sit in a cross-legged position on the floor. Then you have to Bring your focus completely on the breathing which going in and out of nostrils. If any one is if comfortable with sit in yogic postures like Padmasana & Sukhasana, they also can perform this breathing technique.

  • 2nd Step: Making suitable hand gesture

Now you have to Make Gyan Mudra with your fingers then place it over your kneecap. Hand gestures, also known as mudras, which also help to concentrate the mind when doing any kind of yoga kriya.

  • 3rd Step: Inhale deeply

Now you have to bring your awareness to the belly region by getting into normal breathing with belly movements.Then take a long deep breath ‘in’, in a steady manner from both of the nostrils. This will fill pranic energy into the both lungs for further rapid exhale. Then you Concentrate on inhaling quietly.

  • 4th Step: Exhale actively & Inhale passively

This is the most importaint step for kapalbhati Pranayama.

Firstly While your breath is in your lungs, you have to pull your stomach inwards or to the back. Then Pull as much as you comfortably can do but not with stressful manner. then your excessive stress can put an adverse effect on the internal organs.

when you pull your stomach in, then your breath rapidly comes out of your lungs through the both nostrils then automatically a lighter breath draws in at the same instance.

  • 5th Step: Repeat

Onece the forced exhale with lighter inhale you can counted this as 1 breath of kapalbhati.

Repeat this technique for 20 to 40 times, and It will be one round of kapalbhati pranayama. After one round of kapalbhati,you can relax your abdominal muscles and watch your breathing. When you feel a calmness in breathing, repeat the same kapalbhati breath for the next 3 rounds.

Types of Kapalabhati Pranayama

According to inhalation and exhalation practicesand breathing technique at different-different pace, kapalabhati has 3 different type.

  • Vatakrama pranayama:

In this post we will be talking about one of the  kapalbhati  pranayama called Vartakrama pranayama which is a type of this pranayama. Vatakarma pranayama consists of rapid exhalation one after other through both nostrils where Inhalation will be short & passive. It is a similar like kapalbhati pranayama as mentioned earlier except that, exhalation here is done through the mouth with kumbhaka pranayama which means restraining breath in the nose. We will discuss its benefits, precautions, steps and how to practice it, the whole information in this post is based on scientific research and we are not saying it by our own opinion or thoughts.

  • Sheetkrama Kapalbhati :

Sheetkrama Kapalbhati is one of the type Kapalbhati Pranayama. Kapalbhati is of three types, one is the Vatakrama Kapalbhati, the second one is Vyutkrama Kapalbhati and the third one is Sheetkrama Kapalbhati. Also Sheetkrama Kapalbhati is mentioned in one of the most popular Yogic Text Gheranda Samhita.

  • vyutkrama kapalbhati:

vyutkrama is a one of the parts of kapalbhati or a best breathing exercise technique. It has also mentioned in many ancient books of yoga. Vyutkrama kapalbhati is a breathing excise where you have to do water is sucked through the nose expelled through the mouth. It is a good technique to remove germs and it also clean the nose cavity.


If you do it in well manner then kapalbhati will healthy for you. It heals mind and body. This breathing exercise can have power to prevent the disease if you do it regularly. This breathing should practice very nicely with care. But there are several precautions you should follow. You have to remember those words very carefully while you are doing this breathing exercise.

  1. If you are a newcomer and over 40 years old then you should be more careful exhalationstroke at a one time in a one second. If you are a teenager or a young man you can two strokes at a time. But you should have the proper practice before doing this.

  2. In morning is the best time to do this breathing exercise you should have empty stomach.

  3. Do not try to attempt without any specialist and get tested that you are enough fit to do kapalbhati pranayama. After passing that test you are allow to do.

  4. There are some problems if you might have those problems you should avoid kapalbhati. If you are a pregnant woman then you should not do this because it would damage the abdominal muscles it can harm the unborn baby.

  5. If you are a heart patient you should abort this exercise.

  6. Those people are suffering from high blood pressure then you should follow the one stroke in one second method.

  7. Before doing the kapalbhati pranayama you should learn basic. if It is very clear to you then you opt for kapalpbhati if you do not have the proper knowledge then you can more harmful than good.

  8. People who have asthma they should more careful while they are doing.

Side Effects:

If you do it incorrectly then you might have to face some side effects:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lassitude
  • Lethargy
  • Feeling as if something is moving continuously around your closed eyes
  • Lack of stability in thoughts
  • Vomiting sensation (nausea)
  • Uneasiness, easily excitable mind
  • Breathing difficulty / worsening of asthma
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Psychological imbalance, restlessness
  • Worsening of depression
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Increase of internal fear, unstable mind, phobia (warning sign to immediately stop Pranayama).
  • Excessive perspiration, salivation
  • Variation in blood pressure and blood glucose levels
  • Increase in stress level

Why does side effect occur?

= It may happen because of those reasons:

  • Do not take any steps without full information and also do not try to do self-therapy it can be more dangerous first consult with a specialist then go for it. Make sure you have enough practice.
  • Do in morning and a you should do it in well-ventilated room. Because pranayama is relaxation for body and you need fresh air for that. If there is no fresh then it is difficult to inhale breathe it can occur a side effect.
  • If you do pranayama for relaxation then you should clam yourself for that you need null space. If you have any interruption then it can’t possible to concentrate. You have to find a clam place.
  • In pranayama you have to sit straight if you have any backpain then you should consult any doctor first then you do it.
  • Do not do over pranayama it can harm your body.
  • After taking food and doing pranayama is not for good. You can have your breakfast then you can take it but after the day meal it can harm your Kapha, Pitta and Vata.
  • If you have breath taking problems because in pranayama you have to hold you breathe for many times if you’re not able to do then don’t over force.
  • Kapalbhati is also used for reduce the belly fat and you have high blood pressure problems then you should avoid some steps. If you don’t follow the guidelines then your blood pressure might increase.
  • Sleep tight in night you don’ t have enough sleep then you can’t concentratein pranayama.

Kapalbhati Pranayama FAQs

1. Can any one  Practice Kapalbhati Pranayama Before or After a Run?

Yes, you can practice  Kapalbhati Pranayama both before and after a run. However, the best time to practice this breathing technique is on an empty stomach in the early morning.

2. Can any one Eat Immediately After Doing Kapalbhati Pranayama?

After completing your Kapalbhati Pranayama session you have to wait for half an hour before you eat food. Kapalbhati Pranayama uses the breathing techniques to generate energy in your body, and eating immediately after this will cause that energy to get used up for digesting the food that you consumed.

3.How long should any one do Kapalbhati for maximum benefits? 

Normally if you are healthy and fit or not taking a long gap between two rounds, you can do kapalbhati for 10-15 minutes for maximum benefits. If you have been a long time practicing Kapalabhati breathing technique then in this 15 minutes period you can cover 3 rounds of kapalbhati comprises 50 breaths each round.

4.What should any one perform before & after the kapalbhati practice? 

In the morning, after OM chant you can begin your yoga session with kapalbhati breath itself because it stimulates the dormant body organs.
Then after kapalbhati, other 
yoga asanas can be done or if you want to end the practice, do it by performing some subtle breathing exercises like anulom vilom pranayama.  

5.Will it harmful if any one practice kapalbhati pranayama morning as well as in the evening too?

As long as you’re feeling comfortable in your practice, there is no harm. Also, if you want to practice kapalbhati one or two times in a day, then you can practice this pranayama without any objection. 
Only harm comes in kapalbhati when anyone do this breathing technique with the wrong posture such as an arched spine. Also, an overrate of breathing can lead to a rise in blood pressure too.

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