Hanuman is the son of the wind God. Air sustains all living beings. Air is life. Hanuman is also called Pranadeva, God of Breath or Life. It is said that Vayu his Father taught him breath practice, pranayama, which he in turn taught to all human beings. Today we will focus on one style of breath called Kapalabhati in honor of Hanuman.
Kapalabhati breath, according to Sandra Sabatini, is a cleansing breath that removes the impurities from your lungs, so that you may become lighter and clearer. It does not take strength to remove these impurities from your lungs (or your life) rather an alert focus towards what you are doing. Sandra Sabatini says that Kapala Bhati “can be as soft as a butterfly.” Once you remove the impurities from your lungs, the fresh oxygen that rides in on your inhalation is said to be incredibly nourishing to your alveoli.
Bring awareness to your in breath and your out breath. Notice your lungs as you breath. Are you being nourished by your breath? What impurities or toxins would you like to release from your life? What would nurture and support you most in your life right now?
Kapalabhati can clear the way. Sandra Sabatini says, whenever you are in doubt about what to do in your yoga practice, start with Kapalabhati breath. It clears away the cobwebs. Do you have any doubts and uncertainties in your life right now? Are you looking for clarity? Set your intention to ask for clarity around any issue with which you are experiencing confusion.
Kapalabhati breath also frees your spine. Your body will become rooted down below and ready to receive from above. Kapalabhati will send your pelvis and legs to the ground and your spine upwards if you allow this to happen. Notice your legs and pelvis. Become aware of your spine. Allow your upper spine to be loose, pliable, flexible, giving, free, open, easy, gentle, soft, yielding, limber, bending …. with your breath.
Hanuman, the son of the wind God is the breath that unites Sita and Rama Sita and Ram. Kapalabhati is said to bring things together. If you are experiencing a lack of cohesion, if one side of your body is feeling less responsive or more dull than the other, kapalabhati will help ignite your nervous system and root that part of your body to the ground. Is there any part of your life where you are looking for cohesion?
Finally kapalabhati is fantastic for letting go. Let your attention move inside your body. Do you notice any tension? holding? Kapalabhati can allow you to release so many things, Sandra Sabatini says, “even a stern attitude.” Set your intention for anything that you would like to let go of during your yoga class today.
Yoga Postures/Asana: Knee to Chest Pose/Apanasana Reclined Twist/Jathara Parivartanasana, Bridge/Sethubandasana, Lunge/Anjaneyasana/Hanuman pose
Props Needed: Yoga Blocks