Sunday, April 2, 2017

Kapalabhati Breathing: Skull Shining Breath

"Reach With Your Prayers" (Photo by Najmat) 
A few have asked about  Kapalabhati breathing, or "skull-shining breath," one of the many different breathing techniques that are part of the yogic practice of pranayama. This practice is most effectively done in the morning, when the belly is empty and the brain is open to the buzz of light this work can ignite.

In class I explain this as a sharp exhale caused by pulling the lower belly back to the spine (I like to engage mulabhanda or the "root lock"). The contraction is felt behind the lower ribs or the lungs. I've had one teacher use the image of a bellows, a quick compression that forces the air from the lungs, so it can refill with new breath.

The Yoga Journal describes this practice in detail along with other yoga techniques for pranayama.

Go here also for more exploration of pranayama techniques:

And keep asking questions!

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