How do I perform kapalabhati?

To perform kapalabhati, you will need to engage in diaphragmatic breathing.  Start by sitting on a chair or on the floor in a relaxed position.   Think of your lungs as a pump that creates enough pressure to rid the body of waste via the air passages of the nostrils.  Next, take three regular breaths by inhaling.  Exhale by drawing in the abdomen and now repeat ten times, each time maintaining a set rhythm.  After the ten times, take a deep breath and follow with a full exhalation.  Finally fully inhale one last time and hold your breath for as long as possible, then exhale very slowly.

Pam Grout
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

In case you don't speak Sanskrit, Kapalabhati means skull-cleanser. It's an energizing breath that stimulates digestion and elimination. Do this once a day.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position.
  2. Do twenty deep belly breaths.
  3. Inhale fully through your nose.
  4. Closing off your right nostril, expel short, forceful exhalations through the left nostril while pulling in your abdomen with each exhalation. You will experience a staccato exhalation until your lungs are fully emptied.
  5. Repeat full inhalation and staccato exhalations ten times. Any inhalation between staccato exhales should be involuntary and passive.
  6. Inhale fully through the nose.
  7. Exhale fully through the nose.
  8. Inhale to about three-quarters of your lung capacity and hold as long as comfortable, and then exhale.
  9. Repeat steps four to eight through the right nostril.
  10. Finish by repeating steps four to eight simultaneously through both nostrils
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.