The poignancy of our lives drifts by as we dwell on the past and worry about the future. Instead of appreciating what lies before us, we glorify the world we have constructed in our minds. Existing in this false land of preconceived notions and self-judgment leads us away from the authentic self, and thus away from truth. Meditation and pranayama practices give us the opportunity to step outside of our minds and operate in the present. By turning the gaze inward, and focusing on the natural flow of the breath, we step into that current of prana, or life force, that runs through each of us. Find yourself in awe of the endless beauty that exists around and within you; nourish and respect your inner self with gratitude and compassion. Acknowledge judgments as they arise, but let them drift away like clouds across the sky.
Kapalabhati (Skull-Shining Breath) is an ancient practice that utilizes short, forceful exhales and automatic, recursive inhales to create clarity and light in the mind. Contractions in the lower belly, between the navel and the pelvis, force exhales through the nose, while creating space for effortless inhales. Kapalabhati shines light into the mind, creating distinction between truth and falsehood, the real and the unreal. Best preformed on an empty stomach, Kapalabhati will boost your energy and send resonations of vibrant life force and light throughout the mind and body.
Find a comfortable seated position. Place the hands on the low belly and take a deep breath in and out. Close the eyes and focus the attention between the eyebrows. Taking another deep breath in, quickly force the air out through the nostrils like a tiny sneeze. The inhale should automatically flow in after each exhale. With every forceful exhale, contract the muscles below the navel up and in, using the diaphragm to create force behind the breath. After eleven to fifteen rounds, rest the palms on the knees and breath easefully for a few moments, followed by another round of Kapalabhati.
After two to three rounds with pauses in between, prepare the body for seated meditation. Allowing the muscles of the face to relax, and the shoulders to gently melt down the back, tune in and experience the effects of Kapalabhati inside the body. Feel the surge of prana as it reaches the outer most parts of the self, and focus the attention on the rhythm of the breath.
Kapalabhati illuminates the brain and clears the mind while inducing a relaxed and peaceful state in the body. Morning practice of Kapalabhati is extremely beneficial, an enlightening transition from the world of sleep to the waking day.