kapalabhati breathing

Okay this is like a double blog, but Ill try not to ramble too terribly much like I usually do. Over the summer, I decided to give my friend Julie Stump some Stumptown coffee for her birthday. I had heard about this coffee infiltrating New York from Seattle. The only place I could find it was at a place called The Ace Hotel in Gramercy to get some. First of all the smell was captivating. It was sweet but strong. Light but demanding, like a good coffee should smell. After moling over a few brands I decided to get an organic blend of coffee from Central America and Sumatra called Holler Mountain headed up to the cashier. On top of being a little hottie and being very knowledgeable, he asked me what kind of coffee I wanted to try. With purchase of a bag of coffee I received a free cup. It was soooo good. It brightened my day. I savored it and smelled it and sipped it, But I never really went back to the hotel again. Which was fine because coffee is horrible for me. So I went back to drinking whatever coffee I could find and slowly not drinking it, so much. And that was good. I had been drinking my herbs or having a smoothie instead of drinking monotonous coffee every morning. But, a couple weeks ago...

I ducked into this cafe called Spoon on 20th street to get some lunch during my break at school and low and behold, Stumptown coffee. Yummers Yummers Yummers. Ive been going into this cafe everytime Im over there and thats four times a week and I get a big ol cup and its delicious and horrible for me. And now the winters coming, which makes me want coffee even more and, I need to step up my morning schedule or Im gonna be drinking way to much coffee this winter.

I talked to a colleague about my grounding techniques and he suggested Kapalabhati breathing. Its another Yogic breathing technique used mostly but not exclusively to Kundalini Yoga. So I was mulling about that, like I do, and I went over to my yoga studio. Im not sure how this happened, but one of the teachers I go to regularly has started doing Kapalabhati  breathing in her classes. It is known to be very grounding because you send your energy down into your first Chakra and very invigorating because of its effects on the Central Nervous System.

Kapalabhati is in the same family as Breath of Fire. The Yogic philosophy is all about the Breath. That moves Prana, which is in the same family as Qi.  Kapalabhati is a forceful breath. You begin by standing feet hip width apart or in a comfortable kneeling position. You take a long full deep breath in, then contract the abdomen and rib cage pushing the air out through the nose in a short sharp breath. The prana pulls down into the root Chakra with each contracting breath. After the exhalation, simply relax the rib cage to bring air back into the lungs without inhaling, and force the air out again. Start slowly and gradually get faster and faster. You should sound like an old classic locomotive train starting up. You go at your rhythm and fast or as not as you want. Eventually you get into a rhythm, and then the rhythm takes over.

Start with just a coupla breathes a day, but if you do it every morning, you can go for as long as you like. Inside, its rocking your CNS. Its charging up the glands in the Chakras which invigorate your mind and purify your blood. It opens up your heart, grounds your energy down and is a powerhouse exercise for you abs. It clears the mind of all the chatter and worry your filling it with first thing in the morning or anytime during the day. And it really wakes you up.
Its like an invigoration inside of you turning on for free wherever you are and it takes like 5 minutes and its not horrible like yummy coffee.

This is my own personal ad for good coffee and for breathing exercises and for the moderation to do both. Stumptown and  Kapalabhati keeping me warm this winter.