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Ask the Expert: Aadil Palkhivala

Practice for deep and sound sleep.

By Aadil Palkhivala

I feel dizzy when I do Kapalabhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath) or Anuloma Pranayama (With the Flow Breath). Why does this happen?
Theresa

Why? In brief, because you shouldn't be doing them! According to the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda, your nervous system is composed primarily of vata (air quality), pitta (fire quality), or kapha (water quality). Dizziness can be taken as a sign that the quality of your nervous system is out of balance.

Kapalabhati means "illumined forehead" or "light skull." This is because the practice of this pranayama sends an incredible amount of energy to the brain and increases its creative flow, or vata (air quality). It also increases the quality of fire moving from the pelvis up through the spine. Both results can throw a nervous system that's primarily vata completely out of balance and can create dizziness, nausea, and, in some cases, severe mental instability. My guess (because I haven't seen you in person) is that your nervous system is of a vata nature. Therefore, I suggest completely avoiding strong pranayama practices such as Bhastrika (Bellows Breath), Kapalabhati, and Anuloma. Instead, focus on Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath) without any Kumbhaka (Breath Retention). Also, gently perform Viloma II. (See a description of how to do this pranayama in the previous answer.)

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Reader Comments

Lisa

There is a student who has pain in her spine after doing the combination of shoulder stand, plow and fish. It is when the student lies down on the back, the bones of the spine factually hurt and it takes a while for them to settle. I, myself experience this pain so I do legs against the wall. Can you explain what is going on that causes this?

Bev

I have a loud ringing in my ears. Are there yoga positions that will help this noise?
Thank you

sue

Hi, I am a beginner to yoga and I was just wondering how to properly get the most benefit from my practice. I typically practice at home but I have been taking a class which ends unfortunately next week. My question is how much should I practice per week and how should I mix it up? I typically practice about 30-50 minutes about 6 days a week, some are more intense and some are gentle, depending on my moods or how my body feels. I am thinking the gentle is just as important as the intense..rt?..I would love to hear from experts and fellow practitioners..namaste♥

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