Shining Skull Breath and Anuloma Viloma

Woman Sits Pranayama | SpiritMAMA Blog

Here’s a breathing technique, called the Shining Skull Breath or Kapalabhati Pranayama. I learned a version of it during the Medicine Wheel (MW) I did last year, called the Shaman’s Breath.

In the morning I get up at 6 and do three rounds of 100 breaths, at whichever pace I feel like at that moment, before yoga. Usually quite a bit faster than in this video. I find on these days even though I’ve gotten up so early, I feel much more relaxed and able to cope with day to day stuff. Read: I’m a much better mama!

In the MW, the version we learned was Kapalabhati, but our teacher also added in a mediation/visualization, where we pulled up energy from the earth and then pulled down energy from the cosmos/universe into our bodies – while clenching the mula bandha (core and kegles). It was similar to this video. Here is an example of alternate nostril breathing or Anuloma Viloma as well. I do this if I have enough time in the morning, clearing out each chakra with each round.

It’s great to do these things on your own, but also sometimes really nice to use a video like this and let yourself be guided.

I have also found this to be super useful – in all my years of yoga, never was I taught how to do a ‘full yogic breath’. Try this for 5 minutes and see how you feel. I do this whenever I feel stressed or disconnected, ungrounded. Works like a charm!

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