yoga retreat planningThe last breath we are going to discuss this month is the Skull Cleansing Breath or Kapalabhati. This is a breath that often times is used to raise energy or change energy patterns in the body. It can also help to create clarity and bring a sense of calm into the body. Remember the cigarette?

Kapalabhati is great first thing in the morning to wipe away the cobwebs of sleep or in the afternoon when you finding yourself dragging.


But, I have to admit, my favorite way to use Kapalabhati is before meditation. This might sound contrary, but I find this breath doesn’t allow me to get caught up in my mind.  It actually gives my mind a respite.  When I was going through my divorce, I did A LOT of Kapalabhati Pranayama. I remember my Dad visiting one time and sitting in the room next to where I was practicing and him saying to my mom, ” do you think she is okay in there?”  My mom, knowing the breath work said ,”yes”.  She was right. This breath help me through this difficult time in my life. Today, this breath helps me feel calm although it creates a lot of energy during the practice itself.

This breath can also be helpful for depression. It is good for calming the mind, decreasing thoughts, and energizing the body.  It helps to activate the sympathetic nervous system which can be beneficial to those with depression.  As always, it is a good idea to discuss this practice with your yoga teacher or health care provider before practicing.  Learning the technique with an experienced teacher is also helpful.

There are a few reasons NOT to practice Kapalabhati, if you have any of these concerns try Dirgha Breath or Bhedana Chandra instead.


  • irritation of the throat or sinues
  • respiratory infection
  • digestive issues or abdominal irritation or inflammation

Reasons NOT to do the breath

  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • pregnancy
  • hernia
  • ulcer

If you’re ready, TRY Kapalabhati now