Bhastrika and kapalbhati pranayama are both Yoga breathing exercises that can help the practitioner improve lung capacity and manage breathing conditions such as asthma. These breathing exercises are best used in the morning and both provide benefits that impact the entire body, resulting in more energy and better overall health.
Kapalbhati pranayama helps the internal organs to work better by exercising and massaging the chest and abdomen. Kapalbhati increases lung capacity because it allows the practitioner to inhale more fresh oxygen and to exhale more carbon dioxide, helping to cleanse the body of harmful toxins. This type of breathing exercise benefits the respiratory system and is especially helpful when a practitioner is suffering from diseases and conditions that affect breathing, such as a cold, bronchitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, deviated septum and even more serious conditions such as tuberculosis and emphysema.
Additionally, kapalbhati is beneficial to the digestive system, helping the Yoga practitioner to improve digestion and to ease the effects of indigestion, constipation and gastritis. Since kapalbhati increases circulation, heart rate and the amount of red blood cells in the blood, it allows the practitioner to become more energetic. This is particular beneficial to overweight practitioners who find more energy and find themselves less exhausted as they move about their day. It also stabilizes the glands of the endocrine system, which affects the entire body and even assists with the nervous system through the constant cleansing of brain cells as a result of the increased level of oxygen in the blood. Mental health is also positively affected and the practitioner experiences a type of bliss and relaxation after this practice.
Bhastrika pranayama is very similar in the benefits it provides the practitioner. Bhastrika is particularly beneficial to practitioners dealing with respiratory illnesses and conditions, as its forceful breathing methods help to cure conditions such as the common cold, sinus infections and the flu. It can even help to improve asthma. It can also help with the healing of conditions that affect the thyroid gland and throat problems such as those that affect the tonsils.
Regular practice of bhastrika pranayama results in younger-looking, glowing, healthy skin. Overall health is improved by most practitioners since they are able to detoxify their body by expelling the toxins as they breathe out. Increased lung capacity leads to more oxygen in the blood, which leads to more vitality.