Kapalbhati Yoga Breathing Exercise for Optimum Health & Healing- Free Online Pranayama Book- Ch 5

Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama for Health & Healing

Yoga Breathing Exercise #5: Kapalbhati Pranayama (Kapal Bhati)


Free Online Video of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama


What Is Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise):

Of the many wonderful pranayamas that Yoga gives us, Kapalbhati (aka Kapal Bhati) is one of my favorite breathing exercises.  It is not at all complicated to do and yet, when done even for a short time consistently, it’s benefits are undeniable.  If there was only one pranayama that you elected to do, Kapalbhati might well be the one to pick – it’s that good!


Kapalbhati of course dates back to the Yoga Sutras of Sage Patanjali, but recently its popularity has been revived by the work of Ramdev Swamiji.  Kapalbhati is part of Ramdev Swamiji’s set of 6 pranayamas and the practice of this set has spread like wildfire across India as well as the rest of the world.  Kapalbhati, in my view, is like the corner stone of this set and many of the absolutely unbelievable benefits that practitioners have been getting from practicing Ramdev Swamiji’s set, I am sure, can be attributed to this powerful breathing exercise.

Below are the details of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama.

Benefits of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise):


  • Works on the Heart Center (Anahat Chakra) and associated organs and systems of that region.  Thus improving respiration, lung capacity and blood circulation.  Kapalbhati helps cure associated diseases of this region (asthma, bronchitis etc).
  • Works on the Naval Center (Manipura Chakra) and associated organs and systems of that regions.  Thus improving digestion and elimination.  Cures diseases and imbalances associated with this region such as indigestion, gas, diabetes, etc.
  • Practiced over time, Kapalbhati Pranayama also helps reduce abdominal fat, fight obesity, tone abdominal muscles and bestow core abdominal strength and power.
  • From an emotional stand point Kapalbhati Pranayama puges the system of accumulated emotional debris such as anger, hurt, jealousy, hatred etc., thus dissolving the blockages and removing the imbalances such emotional history causes in the energetic pathways.  The cleansing of the energetic pathways (nadis) increases the magnitude and flow of prana (life-force) and Kundalini Shakti (energy) throughout all regions of the body.
  • From a mental stand point Kapalbhati Pranayama assists in throwing out all negative thoughts from the psyche. thus, helping to cleanse and illuminate the mind.
  • From a body stand point Kapalbhati Pranayama should be used to eject any illnesses, diseases, weaknesses from the body thus allowing it grow in health, vitality and vigor.


  • Generates heat in the system to help dissolve toxins and waste matter.
  • Adds luster and beauty to your face.

Cautions for Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise):

If you feel dizzy or nauseous you should slow down the force and pace of Kapalbhati pranayama or stop entirely and return to normal breathing. 

  • If you have acid or heat related gastric issues such as ulcers you should use caution with Kapalbhati Pranayama.
  • Kapalbhati is not to be practiced by those suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke or epilepsy.

How To Do Beginner’s Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise):

To practice this breathing exercise sit up in a comfortable position, cross legged is best.

  • Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention.  This will align the spine with the back of your head.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Have your hands in Gyan Mudra.  In Gyan Mudra have your thumb tips and index finger meeting, with the wrists resting gently on the knees and the palms turned slightly upwards.
  • Relax your stomach muscles.
  • Now expel the air as forcefully as you are comfortable with through the nose.  This should cause the abdominal muscles to contract sharply and should draw the abdomen inwards towards the spine (like when you suck in your stomach).  Then allow the inhalation to occur completely passively without any additional effort.  To repeat, the exhalation is done using conscious sharp force, while the inhalation is just a recoil action bringing the air back into the lungs.  All the breathing takes place through the nose.  Right after the passive inhalation, exhale again forcefully and continue at a steady rhythm.
  • Do a round of 10 repetitions.
  • Work your way up to doing 5 rounds, while taking a break between each round.
  • Practice Note: Unlike doing Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama you use force during both the inhalation and the exhalation, in Kapalbhati force is only to be used during the exhalation.

How To Do Intermediate Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise):

Once you feel comfortable with the Beginner’s version of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama, perform the breathing exercise with more force if possible and also increase the number of repetition per round to 50.  You may also prefer to do a single round, but, with many more repetitions instead (up to 5 minutes worth) 

How To Do Advanced Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise): 

Build up to doing this pranayama for 15 minutes straight or equivalent number of rounds with more repetitions per rounds. 

Secret of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama (Kapal Bhati Breathing Exercise):

The secret of the success of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama lies in where your mind is when doing this terrific breathing exercise.  If you need to cure your body, then with every exhalation imagine that disease is being purged from your system.  If you need to regain emotional balance, then again, with every exhalation visualize the negative emotions or weaknesses being thrown out of your system.  If negative thoughts are the issue, let every exhalation expel them from your heart and mind. 

The power of the mind has been well documented, you are read about some of  it’s incredible capability in this article Mind Power to Manifest Intentions & Desires Instantly, so use your mind to help you accomplish that which you have intended and unleash the full potential of Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama.

Read Related Articles Below:

175 replies
« Older CommentsNewer Comments »
  1. Sadasivam
    Sadasivam says:

    Hi, thanks for the wonderful piece of information. Your service to the mankind through this website is very much appreciated.

    Would be grateful if you could advise/comment on the following?
    1: it is a general myth that Pranayams are generally practiced and more effecive when they are carried out yoga asanans; ie. first yoga asanas and then pranayam.
    2. Is it correct to say that it is recommended to do pranayam after taking bath/shower?

  2. Alejandro Corrales
    Alejandro Corrales says:

    I’m thinking of practicing Kapalbhati for some time previous to resuming my practice of asanas. Is that safe, or you must do pranayama only as a part of your complete yoga session, together with the asanas but not as a standalone technique? Thanks a lot.

  3. Murari Mohan Sharma
    Murari Mohan Sharma says:

    I request you to know further how to activate third eye after kundalini awakening up to sahsradhar chakra. Lightening with clear picture of Shiva for third eye with Om Namah Shivay. Please guide me.

  4. Paddy
    Paddy says:

    Dear Anmol
    I walk 5 miles a day & also practise yoga breathing.I was wondering if it is ok to practise kapalabhati pranayama while standing up.I intergrate it with my walking.Say i do half a mile i stop & do approx 50 kapalabhati breaths then go again.It gives me great energy while walking & makes my movements relaxed & mucles free er.Just want to check if ok to do?..
    Best Regards

  5. Tom
    Tom says:

    Dear Sir,
    I’ve been doing Kapalbhati for months now in order to strenghten and tone my lower abdomen (under navel).
    No results.
    Should Kapalbhati be done with rapid or slow exhalations for strong lower abs?
    And could you recommend other pranayamas in order to strengthen a sagging lower abdomen please?
    Thanks a lot !

  6. Arijit Basu
    Arijit Basu says:

    Hi Anmol,

    If I am doing Kapalbhati on an empty stomach in the morning, when can I have my breakfast after the exercise?I have read somewhere ideally one should not eat anything at least for 20 mins after completing Kapalbhati. Is it true?

  7. reena
    reena says:

    hi,i mst say its a gr8 website 4 yoga learners.may i kno if u hv any branch of yoga class in mumbai? thank u

  8. Rahul
    Rahul says:

    I have heard people saying that doing push up won’t help to reduce man boobs. It will just tone your chest shape. I have man boobs and have been doing kapalbhati pranayam together with weight loss sets and cobra push ups. I feel great just after doing it for 2 days. It feels as if my entire body is getting in shape not just my chest. Anyway i will post again in about a few weeks to share my progression.

  9. Martin
    Martin says:

    Dear Anmol,
    What a great informative channel and website.
    Can you do this exercise more times a day?
    Thanks and keep on doing the good work!
    Stay well, regards Martin

  10. raj
    raj says:

    hello anmol sir,
    thanks..for solution.
    i am 80 kgs & my height 5ft 7inch…
    Whether doing surya namaskar will reduce man boobs???if yes than how many times i should do it..
    Actually i am tensed very much because last time i had tried some excercise which increase my chest more… its looking very bad…currently i am doing
    1.push up….
    2.drinking atleast 2.5 ltrs water daily
    3.control on diet
    4.normal walk for half an hr
    5.kapalbhati for 10-15 mins & anno villom 50 times
    I know my weight will decrease bt fat around chest does not decrease….i am very for it….

  11. raj
    raj says:

    hii….i am suffering from man boobs.which yoga or excercise i should to reduce it & chest come in a proper shape..

  12. Sarath
    Sarath says:

    Hai anmol,

    I faced a problem of emaciation mainly due to stress and metabolic problem.Fortunatel i consulted a great ayurvedic vaidya who helped me .With his medicines i am a gradually gaining healthy weight.how can i complement with yoga and pranayama.i am now doing surya namaskar and sarvangasana in morning.plz reply

  13. Jhanvi
    Jhanvi says:

    Hi, i want some reduce some belly fat, so thought of doing kapabhati. i have few doubts as should I do in empty stomach??what is the best time to do ??plz guide me for the same

  14. Shak
    Shak says:

    Hello the Mehta family,
    Just dropping by to say thx. Your efforts not only help people with their health and well being, but you also act as a major catalyst in the evolution of mankind by sharing such knowledge with us. Thank you very much. God bless u.


  15. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Dear Mohan,

    If you choose to do KB and have high BP, you should progress gently and do it at half power giving yourself time to develop your capacity slowly over time. Also, monitor yourself.



Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Kapalbhati Yoga Breathing Exercise for Optimum Health & Healing: Next do Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama, doing it at a capacity which suits you for 1-5 minutes.  Then move onto the Weight Loss Yoga Section below. […]

« Older CommentsNewer Comments »

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.