Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kapalabhati & Bhastrika Breathing

Bhastrika means a bellows used in a furnace. Here the air is forcibly drawn in and out as in a blacksmith's bellows. Hence the name.

The process or kriya of Kapalabhati (kapala=skull; bhati=light, lustre) is a milder form of Bhastrika Pranayama.  In Kapalabhati, the inhalation is slow but the exhalation is vigorous.  There is a split second of retention after each exhalation.  Do a few cycles of kapalabhati instead of Bhastrika if the latter breathing proves too strenuous.

Kapalabhati breathing exercise purifies the nasal passage and the lungs, helping the body to eliminate large quantities of carbon dioxide and other impurities.  The added intake of oxygen enriches the blood and renews body tissues, while the movement of the diaphragm massages the stomach, liver and pancreas.


Both Bhastrika and Kapalabhati activate and invigorate the liver, spleen, pancreas and abdominal muscles.  Thus digestion is improved, the sinuses are drained, the eyes feel cool and one has a general sense of exhilaration.

  • As a locomotive engine is stoked with coal to generate steam to pull the train, so Bhastrika generates prana to activate the entire body.  Too much stoking burns out the boiler of the engine.  So also too long a practice of Bhastrika wears out the system as the breathing process is forceful.
  • Persons with a weak constitution and poor lung capacity should not attempt Bhastrika or Kapalabhati.
  •  Those suffering from ear or eye complaints (pus in the ear, detachment of the retina or glaucoma) should not attempt them either.
  • Nor should persons with high or low  blood pressure.
  • If the nose starts to bleed or the ears to throb and ache, immediately stop Bhastrika or Kapalabhati.  Do not practise either for some time.

Source from Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
                Yoga Mind & Body by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre

Click Here for video demo by Dr. Acharya Shree Yogeesh

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nasal Cleansing - Neti

As purity of body encourages purity of mind, Yogis have developed the six cleansing techniques, or "Shad Kriyas", for purification of the physical body.  Through these simple exercises, Nature is assisted in the elimination of waste products, any many mental and physical complaints are alleviated.

One of these cleansing techniques is Nasal Cleansing - Neti.  Neti cleanses the nose, nasal passages, and sinus cavities.  Practised daily, this easy hygienic exercise helps to counteract the effects of pollution, dust, and pollen.  It is especially beneficial to people with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems.

  • Add about half a teaspoon of salt to a neti pot full of sterile lukewarm water.
  • Stand with the legs apart.
  • Hold the neti pot in your right hand.
  • Insert the nozzle of the Neti pot into the right nostril.
  • Keep the mouth open and breathe freely through the mouth.
  • Tilt the head first slightly backwards, then forwards and sidewards to the left so that the water from the pot enters the right nostril and comes out through the left by gravity.  Allow the flow till the pot is empty.
  • Repeat the same on the left side.
  • To clear the nasal passages of the remaining water, blow out the water by active exhalation through alternate nostrils as in Kapalabhati breathing.

It helps to clear nasal passages.  Removes cold, hypersensitivity, headache, sinusitis, bronchitis and stimulates olfactory nerves.


Neti should be avoid if you have had a recent ear infection or nasal septum operation.  Also avoid neti for a few days after a bleeding nose.

Source from Yoga Mind & Body by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
                      Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy for Positive Health by Dr R Nagarathna & Dr H R Nagendra

Monday, February 1, 2010

My new online shop!

Lately I have been busy set up a new site and I have completed it finally!  Wow, it really hardwork to set up a new site.  I feel relief and happy that I have done it finally...:-) 

This is a handmade art and craft online shop which I have specially set up for my neighbor actually.  Please drop in any time, as many time as you like, to see whether you can find something that you like for yourself or your loved ones...:-)  Please let your other friends know about this site too.  Thank you very much...:-)  I will update the site when there is new product.

Visit Hearty Handmade Shop at

With Love... ....