Yoga PranaYama – Kapalabhati, Shining Skull Breath

Yoga Pranayama Kapalabhati

Yoga, one of the world’s oldest and most proven mind body practices has many tools at your disposal. Training the mind, and nervous system through Breathwork is just one of the many practices you can learn. Kapalabhati is a Stomach Pumping Breathwork exercise better known as a Kriya. Kriya’s are cleanses, they refresh the mind and body.

Breathwork exercises are performed before physical practice or Hatha Asana. PranaYama deepens physical practice, as they prime muscles with a fresh dose of oxygen. Breathwork meditation have many uses. They help you stay calm in challenging situations, as well as giving you greater willpower to better decisions when it comes to achieving goals.

Kapalabhati is also known as the Shining Skull Breath, it targets the lower abdomen,  and internal organs inside the core. In short, Shining Skull Breath is a cleansing breath that stimulates the bodies natural mechanisms to become more efficient.

Kapalabhati Breathwork

Eight Limbs Yoga Pranayama Kapalabhati Dhyana Meditation of the breath, teaches you how to observe the body. With Control of the breath, you to slowly learn how to control the Mind. Another benefit of Breathwork is that over time, they teach how to take in full deep breaths. Normally most are not conscious of the breath. Unconscious breathing is usually shallow, which is inefficient. In light of the research, Yogic breath exercise have tremendous benefits on mood, as well as the cardiovascular system.

Yoga Pranayama demands a conscious, mindful breath. Posture is important, draw the breath in through the nose, point your chin slightly downwards. Close the mouth and keep the tongue on the roof of your mouth directly behind your front teeth.

PranaYama Kapalabhati Instructions:

Disclaimer: You should only perform Shining Skull Breath on an empty stomach.  If you have hypertension, or other heart problems proceed with caution. Try just one round at a time.

Kapalabhati is done in a sitting in Lotus position. Rest your hands on the knees, or your lap. If need be, sit in more comfortable position. As a beginner, start with three rounds at a time, then start over until you feel comfortable with the exercise. 

Stomach pumps are done in rounds with different phases. Practice starts with three deep inhalations and exhalations, and upon the third inhale it begins. To perform the stomach pump, quickly squeeze the lower abdomen, and draw the stomach to the base of the spine.

Shining Skull Breath begins by taking in a full deep breath through the nose, exhale slowly through the nose, inhale deeply, slowly and begin pumping through the lower abdomen. Round one constitutes of ten pumps; upon the third inhale perform 10 pumps, then inhale. Since this is the first round, you must retain the breath for 10 seconds. Exhale then upon the inhale you will begin round two.

After the first round of pumping, add an additional 10 pumps, and 10 seconds to each additional round. Round two constitutes of twenty pumps; upon the third inhale perform 20 pumps, then inhale. Since this is the first round, you must retain the breath for 20 seconds. Exhale then upon the inhale you will begin round three.

Round three of Kapalabhati, add 10 pumps so you will be performing 30 pumps and holding the breath for 30 seconds. Take in a full deep breath slowly, exhale slowly, breath in deeply, slowly through the diaphragm, begin pumping, repeating the process above.

Benefits of PranaYama Kapalabhati, Meditation, & Mind Training

Mind training through meditation allows one to transform from the inside out. These ancient practices give the ability to look introspectively and remain objective. Research has shown that the practice of meditation allows for greater neuropsychological control. When there is triggering event, one is able to make better decisions.

Becoming aware of the emotions that cause reaction to triggering events is the first step. Through mental training the neuropsychological response to events can be controlled and redirected. All in all, instead of choosing an activity that is self destructive, healthier choices will be made.

A good example of this would be to choose exercise over binge eating during a stressful occurrence. Developing mindfulness through mind training allows for a self dialogue to become open with the control centers of the mind. In essence the conscious mind begins to hear the action thoughts of the subconscious allowing for self governance.

Namaste – Namaskar



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Ninos Ibraham

Ninos Ibraham has over 10000 hours of training in QiGong, Yoga, Bodybuilding, Weightlifting, Nutrition, Body Mechanics, The Human Movement System, Eastern Psychology. Ninos Used to weigh in at almost 400lbs over a decade ago. With research into nutrition, human movement science, martial arts and yoga, Ninos had an amazing 200 lb weight loss in 9 months. What makes it more amazing is that Ninos did this without the aide of doctors, personal trainers, surgical procedures, and magic weight loss pills. Ninos has been a plant based vegan athlete 95 % of the time over the last 11 years.

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