You may have heard about Kapalbhati or the skull shining breathing pose, made famous by an Indian yoga guru. Well, then did you know that apart from removing belling fat, this single simple pose can activate your brain cells?
Yes, Kapalbhati has many benefits. In fact, it is one the most effective yoga poses that can help you lose all that pregnancy fat.
Kapalbhati is essentially a breathing process, and not a pranayama (exercise). For the uninitiated, ‘Kapalbhati’ comes from the word ‘Kapal’ (forehead) and ‘Bhati’ which means ‘to shine.’
So when you practice this pose, you are not only stimulating your body, but also brining a natural glow to the face.
Benefits of Kapalbhati post pregnancy
This pose is one that requires almost zero effort to perform and gives the maximum returns. Kapalbhati is primarily a shat kriya, and therefore, it is a form of a cleansing technique that removes toxic air and toxins from the body.
This pose is said to have distinct spiritual, mental and physical benefits and is especially beneficial for new mothers.
- The technique involves a rhythmic process of “active exhalation and passive inhalation,” wherein the stomach sinks and during exhalation, it is released. This causes the muscles around the belly to move and tone down. This also increases blood flow in liver and pancreas.
- It helps to reduce gas and acidity thereby aiding digestion
- Its regular practice aids quick belly fat loss, and is especially good for post pregnancy weight loss
- This technique involves forceful breathing and therefore, it strengthens and maintains proper lung function, while increasing it capacity. It also helps to remove blockages in the heart.
- Normally we exhale approximately 500 to 600 CC air per exhalation. However, during the Kapalbhati process, approximately 40 to 50 cc more air is expelled.
- It also increases blood flow and supply to various parts of the body including stimulating lactation
- If done properly in the morning, it will activate and energise your entire body and give you a natural radiance
- It activates your brain cells and can improve memory and concentration
Continue reading to see how to easily perform Kapalbhati.
How to perform Kapalbhati?
To begin the skull shinning breathing pose, you need to sit in Padmasana pose. Since your stomach muscles have to move freely, this breathing process cannot be done while lying on the bed.
Simply follow the 7 steps:
- Sit comfortably with your spine erect (Padmasana) and your hans on your knees facing upwards.
- Take a deep breath
- As you exhale, pull your stomach back in, as though you are trying to pull your navel close to the spine. Do this as comfortably as you can. You can even keep your right hand on the stomach to see the contracting abdominal muscles.
- Now relax and inhale. As you inhale the abdominal muscles will also relax and go back into their original position
- Repeat the process at least 20 times and you can perform three such cycles in a single sitting
You should usually practice Kapalbhati in the morning or three hours after you have had something to eat.
Remember to not practice the skull shining breathing technique during or shortly after pregnancy, as well as during your menstruation cycle since it involves hard abdominal squeezes.
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