Kapala means “skull,” and bhati means “that which brings lightness.”

Kapalabhati is a breathing technique used for cleansing, it is very similar to the pranayama technique bhastrika, but it is milder.

Where in bhastrika the breath is like a bellows, in Kapalabhati the lungs are used as a pump, creating pressure as they expel the air so that all the waste is removed from the air passages, from the lungs to the nostrils. The exhalation is pumped out and there is a slight pause (bahya kumbhaka) after exhalation before the inhalation is drawn in spaciously. Kapalabhati can help problems with the sinuses and numbness around the eyes, and invigorate the liver, spleen pancreas and abdominal organs.

* Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position.
* Take two or three deep inhales and exhales through the nose to prepare.
* Inhale to a comfortable level, and then exhale sharply and forcefully through the nose, drawing the belly in as you exhale.
* Pause briefly (ba(r)hya kumbhaka)
* Let the inhalation happen passively, and continue this cycle of forceful exhales and passive inhales.
* Do three rounds of ten to 20 breaths each, coming back to deep in- and exhalations between each round.
* Return to normal breathing if you feel light-headed at any time.

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