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Kapalabhati Pranayama

Kapala means skull and Bhati means light or luster. In this pranayama inhalation is slow and exhalation is vigorous with a split second of retention after each out-breath.

How to do Kapalabhati Pranayama

  • Sit straight in any comfortable position either with legs crossed or in a lotus position. Exhale whatever breath in the lungs.
  • Inhale slowly, relaxing the abdomen allowing the air to return gently to the lungs.
  • Exhale with a quick, strong blast of air. Contract the abdominal muscles quickly causing the diaphragm to rise and force the air out of the lungs.
  • Retain for a split second and repeat for four to eight blasts.
  • This complete one cycle of Kapalabhati. Relax and take few slow and deep breaths in between the cycles.


Begin with 3-5 cycles and gradually increase as long as you feel comfortable. Stop the practice the moment irritation or strain is felt. Persons with weak constitutions, poor lung capacity, high or low blood pressure, suffering from eye or ear complaints etc should not attempt this pranayama.

Major Benefits

Purifies the nasal passage and the lungs, helping the body eliminate large quantities of carbon dioxide and other impurities. Activate and invigorate the spleen, pancreas and abdominal muscles and improve digestion. Good for asthma patients, smokers and those suffering from sinusitis.

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