Kapalabhati Skull Shining

Kapalabhati (pronounced KAH-pah-lah-BAH-tee), or skull shining, is similar to bellows breath, but with a slow inhalation and a strong exhalation, and with a pause after each exhalation. This exercise has similar benefits but is like a calmer, easier, slower version. It is therefore more calming than bellows breath, which is more energizing. Since the skull consists of sinus passages, the technique is called skull shining, because it shines or clears the sinuses. It is also said to make your nose prettier!

1. Feel your diaphragm muscle pull your navel in as you exhale deeply and sharply. Then pause, holding your breath, after the exhalation for just a second or two.

2. Inhale slowly and deeply, then exhale sharply again, forcing the air out as you did before. Again, pause after the exhalation for a few seconds.

3. Pause between cycles. Do as many cycles as you can, spending one minute on each cycle. Gradually increase the time of your meditation after the cycle.

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