Kapalbhati – Shining Skull or Frontal Lobe Cleansing
Kapala – Skull, Bhati – Shining
Kapalbhati is one of the six cleansing techniques (Shat Kriyas), this is sometimes forgotten as it usually comes in with the practice of pranayama techniques.
Normally, when we breathe our inhalation is active or effort-full and our exhalation is passive. What do we mean by this? When inhaling, we actively use muscles to expand our chest, abdomen, and clavicles to draw air into the lungs, but to exhale we relax these elastic muscles, which revert back to their original shape and expel the air. In Kapalbhati we reverse this process, with an active or effort-full exhalation and passive inhalation.
How does it work? When we pull in/pump the lower abdominal muscles then we decrease the space which pushes the diaphragm up. This decreases the volume of the lungs leading to exhalation. When we relax the muscles then the diaphragm comes back to the original position increasing the volume of the lungs, which draws air in. If you feel like you have run out of breath, stop, take a deep inhale and try again.
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