Just Breathe: A Technique For Exhaling Tension And Toxins

Everyone who has anxiety should have a few breathing techniques in their coping first aid kit.

The regular practice of controlled breathing can help prevent panic attacks, and it is also an effective antidote to rising anxiety.

One powerful yoga breathing technique is the Kapal Bhati, or "skull shining breath." The focus in this method is on the exhalation. Because 80 percent of our body’s toxins are eliminated through our outgoing breath, this technique helps detoxify all of the body’s systems.

How to Perform the Skull Shining Breath

  • Sit or kneel comfortably with your spine straight. Rest your hands, palms up and open, on your knees.
  • Breathe in.
  • Exhale forcefully, pulling your navel back toward your spine.
  • Relax your abdomen, and you will naturally, automatically inhale.
  • When air has re-entered your lungs, repeat the exhale, pulling the navel back toward the spine, and relax.
  • Take 20 of these breaths, which is considered one round of Kapal Bhati. One round takes only 60 to 90 seconds.
  • Relax for a minute or two with your eyes closed, noticing any sensations in your body.
  • Do two more rounds of the Kapal Bhati or skull shining technique.
  • Your attention should be on making active and quick exhalations. There is no need to think about the inhalations, the relaxing of your abdomen will take care of that. If you wish, place your right hand on your abdomen to feel your abdominal muscles contract on the exhale. You will not want to do this exercise with a full stomach.

Skull Shining Benefits

  • This technique refreshes the brain. It is helpful with anxiety because the mind becomes tranquil while the intellect is clarified. The entire nervous system is given an energy jolt.
  • Because abdominal organs are massaged when the muscles contract, digestive functioning is improved.
  • Skull shining increases an individual's metabolic rate, which helps people lose weight – plus the exhalation contraction tones the abdominal muscles.
  • Blood circulation increases, which may create a more radiant complexion.

This Technique Is Not for Everyone

Individuals with heart problems or a diagnosis of hypertension should only use this technique in the presence of a yoga expert or with a doctor’s permission.

Pregnant women, those who just delivered, and women actively menstruating should not practice skull shining. Do not use this technique if you recently had abdominal surgery, suffer from a slipped disc, hernia, epilepsy, have stents, or an artificial pacemaker.

Source: The Art of Living
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels

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