Ever felt like you woke up one day with a foggy head and it never really cleared? Well, this month's intention and challenge might be the solution.
We are challenging you to make one addition to your day, EVERY DAY for the month... kapalabhati breath!
Sometimes referred to as breath of fire, kapalabhati literally translates as 'skull cleansing' or 'skull shining' breath, and claims many health benefits including improving circulation, toning the stomach muscles and even weight loss! However, what we love is its ability to literally pierce through those sensations of fogginess and create a calm clarity of mind, amidst a deeply energised body.
So, how does it work?
The key characteristic is the forceful exhale through the nose, almost like a fly just flew up there and you are trying to get it back out! This forceful exhale is accompanied by the abdominals moving strongly inwards and upwards, helping to clear stagnant energy.
The inhale on the other hand is totally passive, as the abdominals relax the pressure in the lungs changes and the breath is naturally drawn back in.
To begin with you can work with 20 or 30 rounds, pausing if necessary. At its peak some advanced yogis claim to work with between 90 and 120 kapalabhati breaths per minute.
Sit comfortably, perhaps cross legged or in baddha konasana. Have your fingertips on your floor by your hips to help lengthen the spine and open the upper chest.
Take a slow, full breath in.
Exhale halfway, then begin your kapalabhati. Short sharp exhales as the abdominals draw in.
Feel the fire build in your belly... and sense as the course of the breath literally cools and clears the space behind the eyes and the whole central column of the body.
After whatever count you may be working towards take a full inhale, exhale slowly and completely and fold forwards. Letting the back muscles relax and stretch whilst taking a moment to feel the effects of this practice on your body and mind.
Enjoy the connection to your most natural and vital energies.
Repeat 3 times, or more if desired. Then head to your bedroom window, open it up, take a huge fresh gulp of that promise filled, fresh spring air, skip your coffee and head off to meet your day with a whole new sense of clarity.