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Caution - Do not practice during pregnancy
Advice - Best to practice on an empty stomach
Rigourous Kalpalabhati (skull shining) breathing is a more rigorous form of breath exercise, rigorous because the air is vigorously pushed out of the the body with force ridding the lower lungs of any stale air that may be lingering, giving the respiratory system a really good clean whilst invigorating and oxygenating the whole body.
Kalpalabhati is a really good exercise for developing core muscle strength and can harden the body.
On a mind level this breath exercise should clear the mind and aid concentration.
Simple Kalpalabhati (msn video) Instruction:
1. Sit (hands on thighs) or stand or sit relaxing the muscles and emptying the thoughts or in a lotus or half lotus position
2. Breathe in allowing the abdomen to expand, filling the chest and clavicle regions (as in simple breathing).
3. Hold the breath for a comfortable amount of time.
4. Vigorously breathe out, quickly, and sharply contacting the abdominal muscles flattening the tummy to up and under the ribs, squeezing the muscles, pushing air out of the chest and clavicle regions.
5. Slowly breathe in through the nose to extend your abdomen as in instruction 2., this completes one round of Kalpalabhati breath technique.
Another technique is Rigourous Kalpalabhati (skull shining) for weight control and abdominal workout
Note: when breathing out empty all regions at once, the tummy, chest and clavicle regions, when breathing in gently fill the tummy first then slowly fill the chest, then the clavicle region (as in simple breathing).
Martial arts and Kalpalabhati breath:
Gojuryu karate youtube video (more about Goju Ryu) is just one example of a martial art that uses strong breathing techniques to make the body hard and able to take punishment, if you want to add a breath technique that requires very little room to practice but will enhance lung capacity and strengthen the muscles, the Kalpalabhati breath exercise could be what you need to increase muscle tone (yang), is a viable mediation technique because its singular focus exercise once learned, which (being an extreme yang exercise) can lead to feelings of deep relaxation (yin). This exercise is calorie burning which means it is an easy one for weight loss (especially for the waist) if practiced regularly.
Focus your eyes on the beautiful scene and practice kalpalabhati - use the scene as a meditation aid
Note: It is important to practice and fully understand basic breathing technique before moving on to the more advanced breathing practices for hunger control (Sithali and Sitkari), muscle toning (Kalpalabhati breathing) and deep meditation breathing for stress release and relaxation (Anuloma viloma).
Wikipedia - Kalpalabhati
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