Vyutkrama Kapalbhati is one of the variations of Kapalbhati or the skull shining breathing technique. It is mentioned in the yogic text Gheranda Samhita. In Vyutkrama Kapalbhati, water is sucked in through the nose and expelled through the mouth. It is a good technique to remove sinus related problems and to clean the nasal cavity, throat and the pharynx.
Vyutkrama Kapalbhati is part of Shatkarma or the six purificatory practices of Hatha Yoga. In Sanskrit, Kapal means skull and Bhati means to shine. It cleans the skull of impurities and makes the face shine. This practice is usually done in the morning, preferably after brushing the teeth.
Vyutkrama Kapalbhati is similar to the practice of Jala Neti. In Jala Neti, a Neti pot is used to pour water into one of the nostrils and the water is expelled from the mouth. But in Vyutkrama Kapalbhati, no pot is used. Instead the water is sucked in directly through both nostrils using a vessel or from the palm of the hands and expelled from the mouth.
How to do Vyutkrama Kapalbhati?
- To start the practice, bowl of slight warm water. You can add a table spoon of salt (to one litre of water). Warm salt water aids in cleansing the mucous lining of the nasal cavity and avoids irritation.
- Vyutkrama Kapalbhati practice is done in the standing position.
- Cup your palms and collect water in it. Take the palms close to your nostrils.
- Tilt your head back at an angle and pour the water into the nostrils. This will need a little practice in the beginning. Some use a vessel or even a glass to tilt and pour water into the nostrils.
- With practice, water will flow down into the throat and and will be expelled out through the mouth.
- Repeat the process a few times to get a good cleaning effect.
Benefits of Vyutkrama Kapalbhati
- Vyutkrama Kapalbhati cleans the mucous from the nasal cavity and throat.
- In Gheranda Samhita, it is mentioned that this practice removes Kapha Dosha (as per Ayurveda) and gives good health and vigour to the body.
- Spiritual benefits include activating some energy centres in the brain which have trigger points in the nasopharynx. It is said to activate the Bindu Chakra at the back of the head.
In the beginning stages, there would be fear of water entering the lungs. With practice and the right tilt of the head, this can be achieved over time.