Kapalbhati and Anulom Vilom

Two breathing exercises you should do daily to enhance health are Kapalbhati and Anulom Vilom. Kapalbhati and Anulom Vilom are two  Pranayamas, or breathing exercises which everyone should do regularly to enhance health.

The benefits of these exercises are countless, while the side effects are none. Good news is that it only takes very little time to complete both, and  virtually costs nothing to practice them. You only require a piece of cloth to squat on and 30 minutes in all per day . No need of jogging shoes or a fancy track suit . No worrying about paying hefty amounts to the gym or not  making it to a jogging track  due to bad weather.
So,  relax, stay at home , revitalize and re-energize your body ,soul and mind . All, at no cost.

Like the idea?

We know, you can’t wait any longer to know more.
So here’s all you need to learn to give you a kick start. ——–


The word Kapalbhati comes from two words, kapal, meaning ‘forehead ‘ and bhati, meaning ‘ shining ‘or ‘glowing’.
Pranayama means” control of breath”.

It’s an exercise which makes you control your breath in a distinct way and your face glow with energy.

What You Need To Have For The Two Exercises, Well, nothing much.

  • a well ventilated place,  just anywhere
  • a small piece of cloth or a yoga mat
  • loose fitting clothes

That’s it.

Step 1:

Sitting In The Right Posture:

  • place the mat on the floor and sit on it
  • now cross your legs and keep your back and shoulders straight
  • lean your back against the wall if you have back issues

Step 2:

Passive Inhaling , Forceful /Vigorous Exhaling :
  • in the beginning, take 3 to 4 deep breaths and exhale
  • you are now ready to start
  • inhale through both nostrils normally
  • don’t hold your breath
  • now exhale through both nostrils with a force
  • pump out your breath vigorously
  • as you do it you will notice your tummy contracting naturally
  • keep repeating the process
  • passive inhalation, forceful exhalation
  • carry on for  5 minutes as a beginner
  • after some practice, do it for 10-15 minutes
  • one round of this exercise spans 5 minutes
  • do it at slow speed as a beginner and medium ,later
  • during exhaling,  you will automatically produce a hissing sound

Step 3:

Relaxing, taking a 15 minutes break before the next Exercise /Pranayama

Things You Should Not Do While Exercising :

  • don’t move the whole body
  • don’t move your face sideways
  • don’t slouch
  • don’t contract your tummy forcibly


Kapalbhati Pranayama yields numerous benefits for the body and the mind. To list a few:

  • helps detoxify the body
  • clears blocked arteries
  • prevents heart problems
  • does cleansing of organs
  • cures disorders relating to hormones
  • levels out hormonal imbalance
  • assists in BP, diabetes control
  • heals  breathing disorders
  • removes stones from the body
  • cures digestive system disorders
  • brings down lipid levels to normal
  • burns belly fat
  • regulates body weight
  • cures insomnia
  • strengthens body’s immune system
  • heals allergies
  • rejuvenates body cells
  • slows down aging process
  • cures depression, anxiety and stress
  • reverses whitening of hair
  • gives a distinct shine to the skin


Don’t practice Kapalbhati Pranayama if:

  • you are pregnant
  • you are recovering from surgery
  • you have hernia
  • you have a slip disc
Don’t eat anything  30 mins after exercising , except a little water

Best Time To Practice Kapalbhati
• Morning, on an open stomach, after finishing with the toilet.
• Five hours after any meal


Follow up Kapalbhati,after a 15 minutes break,  with Anolum Vilom, the Queen of All Pranayamas.
The word Anulom means ‘with the grain’, and Vilom, ‘against the grain ‘. It follows that this is  an exercise which involves breathing through the opposite nostrils, one nostril at a time. No wonder, they also call it The Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise.

Step 1:

  • first sit in the yogic posture
  • cross your legs
  • rest your hands on both knees, palms facing upwards
  • place your thumbs on your index fingers

Step  2:

Deep Breaths:
  • Take 4-5 deep breaths with both nostrils

Step 3:

Positioning Your Right Hand :
  • remove your right hand from your right knee
  • lift it to your nose
  • close your index and middle fingers on your palm
  • put your thumb on your right nostril so as to close it
  • leave your left nostril open

Step 4:

Inhaling Through The Left Nostril:
  • take a deep breath through the left nostril

Step 5:

Exhaling Through The Right Nostril:
  • now put the ring and the small fingers on the left nostril,and close it
  • at the same time, remove the thumb from the right nostril ,and
  • exhale through the right nostril

Step 6:

Inhaling Through The Right Nostril:
  • keep the right nostril open
  • keep exerting pressure on left nostril with the ring and the little finger
  • inhale through the nostril

Step 7:

Exhaling Through The Left Nostril:
  • put the thumb on the right nostril to close it ,and
  • remove the fingers from the left nostril
  • now exhale through the left nostril

End Of Round One 

Round one comes to an end after inhaling and exhaling once ,alternately , through both nostrils.

Number Of Rounds For Beginners 

Beginners should aim for  5 rounds at a time,inhaling and exhaling for 4 seconds each time.

Number Of Rounds Later 
After mastering the technique, you can go for 10 to 20 rounds ,inhaling and exhaling for 20 seconds each time.

Things To Remember:

  • In this  form of Anulom Vilom there is no retention of breath
  • Keep inhalation : exhalation time ratio at 1:1,initially
  • then,  as you advance you may raise it to 1:2, exhaling twice as long as inhaling
  • you may, then, step it up more, if you feel you can
  • inhale deeply and also exhale to a good limit
  • keep your back straight
  • lean against the wall in case of back issues


Consult your doctor first if you have a heart ailment or have high blood pressure

Best TimeTo Practice Anulom Vilom:

  • Do it after evacuation, on an empty stomach, 15 minutes after finishing Kapalbhati.
  • You can also perform this exercise 4-5 hours after any meal


Regular practice of Anulom Vilom Pranayama has numerous health benefits. To name just a few:

  • improves mental faculties
  • helps beat forgetfulness
  • gives distinct boost to the ability to concentrate
  • instils patience, steadfastness
  • augments decision making ability
  • raises one’s creativity level
  • treats anxiety
  • treats uneasiness, anger and worry
  • alleviates stress levels
  • cures conditions relating to eyes and ears
  • helps making one calm and peaceful
  • treats insomnia
  • cures fever
  • treats diseases of the muscular system
  • improves blood circulation
  • helps remove gastric problems
  • cures allergies

For those who are looking forward to taking full control of their minds and bodies,here us an opportunity.  Kapalbhati and Alunom Vilom Pranayamas promise them a long, healthy & peaceful life .
All they need to do is to spread that mat on the floor every morning and enjoy the next 30 minutes practicing the best of yoga.

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Credits: Youtube Video and Image to bharatswabhimantrust.org