Jan 19, 2009

Pranayama > kapal bhati > III : some questions answered

When I do kapal bhati, I feel pain under the ribs.
You are likely pressing the belly too hard. Do it less forcefully and reduce the pace of breathing. To start with, do it only 5-7 times in one go, then take rest for 3-4 seconds and proceed. You can increase the number slowly.

While doing kapal bhati, I get heaviness or a feeling of skin being pulled deep inside the nostrils which in turn causes heaviness in eyes and head.
You are using nose to get the force of exhalation. Stop doing it. Practice diaphragmic breathing [as explained in detail in kapal bhati-I].

I get flashes before my eyes when I do kapal bhati.
Seeing flashes is mostly due to pulling of retina [the thin layer inside the eye, responsible for vision] away from its base by the fluid that is there to keep it in place. It occurs when the retina has been torn and detached from its base or it has developed holes. There is a risk of retina detachment getting aggravated if kapal bhati is done using nasal force or too much force anyway. So, remember to do kapal bhati moderately and with force from the belly.

My one nose is often blocked, especially in the morning. How should I do kapal bhati?
Neti is a very useful procedure for opening of blocked nostrils. You can also temporarily balance the flow of air through the nostrils by (1) lying down on a side for five minutes in a way that the blocked nostril is upwards, or (2) doing anulom-vilom a few times. Do not try to open the blocked nostril by doing kapal bhati with extra force.
If your nose is blocked due to flu/common cold, do kapal bhati only if it can be done comfortably. Otherwise, give it a break.
Some people have their nose blocked in the first hour of their getting up. If that is the case with you, please check that there are no items in your surroundings to which you are allergic, or that you do not jump from a cosy bed to a very cold outside.