My childhood was spent sneezing away. 🙂
I was among those kids who spent complete winters and monsoons with choked noses and sore throats. Any change of weather would bring me down with a bad cold. And as if this was not enough, I had some sort of dust allergy.
As I had mentioned in one of my previous posts, I came across Yoga at a young age. Over the years, when time started becoming a constraint, I wanted to incorporate at least one breathing exercise in my routine. For me, if I couldn’t conquer my childhood breathing problems, then there was no point in doing any kind of exercise.
I wanted to do something which took less time but was very effective. I had learnt about 3-4 types of breathing exercises, including Pranayam. I finally decided to do Kapalbhati, which takes a minute max.
Kapalbhati is a breathing technique which forms a part of the Shuddhikriya (“cleaning process” in Sanskrit) set of exercises. It literally means “illumination of the skull”. In its most basic form, it involves breathing very quickly with focus on exhaling. A healthy person should be able to do about 100 repetitions in a minute.
The benefits of practicing Kapalbhati include cleaning of the respiratory system, stress control and strengthening of the abdomen area. But this technique being one of the most powerful Yogic exercises, can cause harm if performed in the wrong way or, by people suffering from high blood pressure, severe asthma or heart disease. You should talk to a doctor before embarking on its practice.
Over the years, my respiratory system slowly improved. These days, the monthly cold-and-cough events are down to a once a year occurrence. I still sneeze when someone shakes a dusty cloth and my respiratory system still gets choked up when the weather suddenly turns cool. But doesn’t take long to recover. 🙂