A cleansing breath

Waves on beach

As I write this, the wind is howling outside. I can imagine how it might feel by the sea as it reminds me of some really windy weather that whipped up the waves on a Devon beach a couple of years ago. Walking by the sea then felt like being cleansed inside and out, with the wind not only taking my breath away, but forcing the breath in through the nostrils. Lungs filling with ozone, and all the stale air being expelled.

The cleansing breath that we’re going to practice this week expels the stale air, leaving the lungs feeling clean and refreshed. It helps to clear the sinuses and brings clarity to the mind. I love Sandra Sabatini’s reflections on this breath, called kapalabhati: shakes….

“It’s about rhythm
it’s about releasing
letting go
it’s about exhalation
it’s very powerful
it goes very deep inside
it really shakes the spine
and it shakes your whole being
with quick, short motions.

It sets the spine free
it cleans the inside of the sinuses
it takes the dust away – the clouds

the body becomes rooted down below
and ready to absorb up above.”

From her book, Breath – the essence of yoga