The Right Way to Practise Kapalbhatti at Home

Kapalabhati Pranayama is a very powerful breathing exercise. This is considered a wonderful practise with immense benefits by experienced yoga practitioners.

The meaning of ‘Kapalabhati’ has been originated from two words of Sanskrit, ‘Kapal’ meaning ‘Forehead’ and ‘Bhatti’ meaning ‘Shining’. As the name suggests, a shining intellect and physical appearance is what one gains from consistent practise of this pranayama.

What You actually do in Kapalbhati Pranayama?

Kapalabhati involves quick exhalation and natural inhalation. Usually exhalation takes about one fourth of the time of inhalation. Here, quick exhalation and natural inhalation go after each other.

Precautions to Follow:

Kapalbhatti Pranayama should not be practiced by the following individuals:

  • Cardiac disease patients
  • Those with high blood pressure
  • Suffering from problems of hernia
  • Asthma patients

Important Point to Note:

  • Stop if you feel uncomfortable at any time during the pranayama.
  • Rapid breathing should start from the abdomen (NOT from the chest).
  • Kapalbhati should be practice on an empty stomach ONLY.
  • If combining with asanas, practise Kapalbhati AFTER the asanas and relaxation.
  • If combining with meditation, practise Kapalbhatti at least 10 minutes BEFORE meditation.
  • Avoid practising when asthmatic attack is in progress. In case, pain or dizziness is experienced, STOP immediately.
  • Do NOT move chest very much.

Avoid Mistakes while Practicing Kapalbhatti

Most people commit errors while practicing Kapalbhatti. This leads to aggravation of health problems and many illnesses. Here are some of the most common mistakes committed by general public when performing Kapalbhatti:

  • Seating in an incorrect posture (back arched).
  • The body is jerked up while drawing breath in and out. This jolts inner organs too.
  • Force the air pressure downwards, exerting extreme force on uterus!
  • Exhaling the wrong way.
  • Abdomen is contracted while inhaling.
  • Shoulders are contracted during an attempt to push air out when exhaling.
  • Movement of back and shoulders during the practise.

The Best Time to Practice Kapalbhatti Pranayama

There are no rules associated with exact time of practicing Kapalabhatti. The practice can be done at any time of the day. But it is better to avoid practicing it except late in the evening. Also keep a gap of about 3 hours or more before you go to sleep.

Kapalbhatti should be ideally practiced on an empty stomach. It can also be practiced as stand-alone or combined with other practices, such as asanas or meditation.


Luz Helena
Luz Helena

A lot of the information in this article is very good. There is just one thing I wish to add which is that although it is called Kapalbhatti Pranayama, it is really shatkarma (a cleansing technique). The reason this is an important distinction is that Kapalbhatti is meant to prepare the lungs for deep breathing or alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Sodhana Pranayama) and in itself is not a complete practice. Thank you for sharing this information. Aum

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