Mood swings and kapalbhati pranayama!




I started doing kapalbhati since over a week now. Although as I understand, the recommended time is at least 5 minutes but I am not able to continuously do it till 5 mins. So, I am doing it for 1.5-2 mins in 3 sets. Not sure if that is okay?

Secondly, I started doing kapalbhati as it was suggested by Baba Ramdev and some of my friends as a very good remedy to treat uterus fibroid that I have.

But since I started doing this exercice, for some reason I have started getting a lot of mood swings, like I suddenly feel too good or feel very sad for small reasons. I feel like crying for small issues etc – not sure if this is happening due to kapalbhati or not.

Need guidance here.

- Pooja




Beloved Puja,


Welcome to the least understood, most publicized, wonder world of yog and pranamaya… It is no surprise how you decided to take it up a week ago.. in fact  thousands of people get in this territory every month without even understanding how it will affect them and what are serious implications of this. They think it is ‘just breathing’. (smile)

You say..

I started doing kapalbhati since over a week now. Although as I understand, the recommended time is at least 5 minutes but I am not able to continuously do it till 5 mins. So, I am doing it for 1.5-2 mins in 3 sets. Not sure if that is okay?

You are not sure of whatever practices you are doing but are you really sure you want to implement the suggestion given by me or just wish to take opinion and do things your way? Well, since you have asked it is my duty to respond. Yet I always say.. go, talk to your teacher and explain him/her your issues which have come after starting your practices. Alas! you don’t have a Guru or teacher of Yoga with you and you can not ask questions to ‘Books’, ‘DVDs’ and ‘TV Sets’. Can you? I have been stating the facts for people to take note of , many listen to it others ignore as a facade. It is up to you to consider what ancient Yogic literature and more sincere Masters say about the dangers of pranayama.

You are an educated, logical person.. may I ask you whether you studied about the subject of Yog and Pranayam before taking up the practices? Did you consult a teacher? If not then you are proved your education wrong. because pranayma is not ‘just breathing’… And logically, had it been so How could it affect your particular health condition? And if something is so effective, so powerful that it can treat your fibrosis of specific area don’t you think such a powerful technique may affect you negatively also if the method of practitioner is flawed and its power gets directed to undesired places? Going to gym is ok, pumping iron is fine, push ups and sit ups are ok.. because you know which part of your body you are targeting in these exercises. How will you direct energies generated in pranayam to a particular point? I dont think you have been trained in it..

My answer to your question is “NO, It is not OK.’ Your doing kapalbhati itself is not OK, what to talk of duration and your capacity. Did you understand what I mean? I am saying – Kapalbhati without preparation is not OK.

You say..

I started doing kapalbhati as it was suggested by Baba Ramdev and some of my friends as a very good remedy to treat uterus fibroid that I have.

Beloved, I may sound little cold here but my advice to you would be.. You are following Baba Ramdev’s suggestions.. Why don’t you ask him about these. And is your friends Yoga Masters? If yes, which Guru lineage she/he belongs to? Hold your thoughts Pooja, be rational for your sake.

You further ask..

since I started doing this excercice, for some reason I have started getting a lot of mood swings, like I suddenly feel too good or feel very sad for small reasons. I feel like crying for small issues etc – not sure if this is happening due to kapalbhati or not.

Yes! This is definitely a side effect of the breathing exercises you are doing. You should know taht Pranayma generates lots of energies and if it is done without following preparatory step i.e. Nadi-Shodhan it is likely to cause problems. Sometimes irreparable damages to your vital system. I am not saying so.. the text books on Yog written by Master Yogis (who wrote both the positives and negatives about yogic components like Asana and pranayama) of antiquity. It is mentioned in Vedas.. It is your discretion whether you believe Vedas (the original texts on Pranayama and Yog) or your friends or TV. There are many authentic Yoga text books available in the market which you can refer to. If you don’t find drop a mail to the team at they will help you out with some text on it.

Also there are some serious and sincere Yoga teachers ready to help you. If in doubt check their authenticity using your knowledge (gained through reading authentic yoga/vedic literature). But you must see someone is person before you continue with your practices.

You wrote at the end..

Need guidance here.

I replied to you on the cost of repetition. There are so many articles on this site which you could refer to.. may be you did .. may be you did not. I have said what I could, Do you feel guided?

Blessings from Masters..

– Ach. Agyaatdarshan Anand Nath

Pranamaya and Spiritual Growth – Part I




Does that mean Pranayam should not be practiced until one has properly followed Nadishodhana? How strictly should one follow this rule ? Are there any side effects of Pranayam if it hasn’t followed Nadishodhana practice?

- J S

Beloved JS,


Strictly Pranayama is to be done after completing Nadi-Shodhana if one wishes to ensure spiritual growth and avoid many physical, mental side effects.

The most important point to be noted is that before Pranayama, Sadhaka (practicioner) should cleanse his body, its internal organs and also its energy channels (Nadis). The point to be noted is that this cleansing (Shuddhi) has not been limited to only body rather well within its intricate systems of Nadis. Nadis are in fact energy carriers inside our energy body in Pranamaya Kosha and there is mention of 72,000 nadis in various Vedic texts. These Nadis are to be purified, cleansed before indulging in Pranayama. High energy is needed for spiritual awakening and during pranayama when high amount of energy is released and your nadi system is not capable of supporting it may damage your system permanently.

Do I have any basis in making this statement? Yes, very much. Please read the below shloka (verse number 53) from Trishikhbraahmnopanishada.

Yamaishch Niyamaishchaiv Aasanaishch susanyatah|

NaadiShuddhim cha Kritvaadou Pranayamam samacharet||

It clearly warns the Sadhaka that after having perfected Yama, Niyama and Asana one must purify one’s Naadis. Thereafter Pranayama has to be practised.

There is clear mention of many known and known physical ailments which are caused if Nadi System is not cleansed and strengthened before practice of pranayama. Consider following shloka –

Hikka kaasastathashwaasha Shirah karnaakshi Vedanah
Bhavanti vividha rogaah pawanavyatya yakramaat
- Samved, Yogchoodamani upnishad, 117 

Hiccups, Coughing, Asthma, Diseases and pain in Head, Ear and Eyes.. and many other unknown diseases happen when pranavaayu (air) is angered. Head or brain is the king of our physical body and Yogic literature is warning clearly the extent of dangers by pranayamas done without preparations. Such endeavour may create havoc to our head, eyes and ears. I have personally come across thousands of people suffering from tinnitus (continuous ringing or drumming sound in ears) and upon inquiring they confessed of having done some of other pranayama involving high-breathing rate.

When we want to follow our ancient Masters by following Yoga or Pranayama we must follow their instructions in totality.

Blessings from Masters..

– Agyaatdarshan Anand Nath

Is Kapalbhati killing you?

|The dawn approaching||

Divine Salutations to all Friends!

When our beloved Master AD first used such a line as “Pranayama is Killing you – Vedic Yog Rahasya”  almost two years back,  people frowned.. hate-mails and strong objections stromed in. Some people even told him to shut up!

With more articles on Yoga and Pranayama from Master AD,  people gradually started opening up and even shared their issues publically albeit in our classroom sessions we always had people telling the true stories of sufferring due to wrong practices of Pranayama and other fast breathing exercises.

It is only after Yoga legend, BKS Iyengar spoke openly against the commercialization and corrputing the real Yoga, people are now trying to find out the authenticity of that very Yoga they embraced like their own lost child, years back. Our beloved Master  is satisfied.. for the results matter not the person or medium. Its is realy solace for his own Yoga Mentor Sri Balenduji Giri Maharaj who was fighting the lone battle against wrong practices of Yoga being propagated through TV.. hardly any government officials or ministers bothered to listen to him. Only recently when they saw Baba Ramdev as a threat many politicians were keen to see him.

So, if you find someone playing with breath do ask him/her where from he/she learnt it.. Ask a minute from them. Tell them they must review their decision of continuing with pranayama. Ask them to have a look at what Gayatri Jayaraman says in The & The Wall Street Journal..

She asks the TV Yoga Fanatics & Live air-pumping machines –  “Is Kapalbhati Killing you?”

Happy reading.. Happy breathing!

– Shakti Devpriya

Join the group of authentic spiritual practitioners..

Yoga Kriyas and Sex!

Yoga during Sex?

Dear AD,
First let me say that this is the first source where I have seen a seemingly very knowledgeable person, someone who seems like he speaks from living experience, while at the same time, being accessible and honest. Thank you for that, I enjoy reading your blog very much! I found your website after searching for the dangers of incorrect pranayama, and, after reading your website I am slightly relieved to know that I am not the only one who has suffered from this.
I suffer from chronic anxiety and shoulder, neck, and knee pain, but I have always been functional in terms of work and school-and was able to graduate medical school this past year. I looked into pranayam to help me deal with the pain and improve my energy so I could be more focused on work,etc.
In the past year I spent about 6-7 months doing swami ramdevs pranayam. I have done kapalbhati and anulomvilom for about 10-15 min each everyday from Oct 2010 to June 2010. I found that they gave me much energy and helped me with bilateral knee, right shoulder and neck pain which I have had for about seven years. I stopped these practices in June, but I started them up again abt a few days ago, because, for the first time in ten years, I was trying to face my anxiety and work through it and I thought it would help me relax.
When I was doing this pranayam during the year, I was largely avoiding masturbation/sex, because I had read masturbation and pranayam together can be quite harmful. While I would do these practices, I would feel a surge of pressure in my genital regions and it was almost pleasurable, and I found that this would last throughout the day. This was especially true after kapalbhati. The reason I mention this is because when I started up again about a week ago, of course, the same sensation came to me. Unfortunately- and this is embarrassing-I spend a significant amount of time watching pornography that day and I masturbated as well. At the moment of ejaculation, I felt a surge of pressure into my neck and head, I felt a sharp, crippling pain in my right shoulder(previously damaged), and my right knee. I also felt a cramping sensation right below my navel. After that day, I feel as if my neck has become weaker-the pain and crepitus has increased, I feel EXHAUSTED, and I still have a cramping sensation right below my navel-though it has pretty much faded completely. In addition-the pressure that I felt in my head is still there and since that moment, I have had a very loud ringing in my ears-so loud, it is preventing me from sleeping.
I read somewhere that masturbation after yoga can permanently waste/release energy –did I build up some energy and waste it? I’ve also read that sometimes if the body is not strong enough, the release of energy can be damaging to the “structure”. This would make sense as I have a few old injuries. I am absolutely terrified and I feel about 20 years older than I am(I’m 24). I have difficulty sleeping and I am worried that my memory is being affected-though I’m sure if that is because of the lack of sleep/anxiety over this situation. Anyhow, this is really interfering with my life.
Is there anything I can do to correct this? Will it fix itself over time?
Any advice would be much much appreciated. I am willing to do anything to bring myself back to “normal”.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this!

Ach. Agyaatdarshan

Ach. Agyaatdarshan

Beloved Perry,

Through the answer to your question I would try to bring about clarity on the very basic question which many people have been asking me but before that let us understand the principles of Hatha Yoga or Ashtaang Yoga (The eight fold path to self-realization).

Maharshi Patanjali, the one who has documented the first ever treatise on Hatha Yoga (Vedas & many Upnishads have talked about it previously but not as comprehensively and structured as he did), named Patanjali Yoga Sutra has put forth a path which is as logical and methodical as is Mathematics. In mathematics or science Sutra means formula, something concise and leading to a definite result if that be used in a given situation or problem, similarly Patanjali has given us Sutra for Yoga, in most concise form.

A student of science or mathematics very well knows that if a long sequence of formula or equation is presented to him he would follow a particular pre-defined sequence of operations to arrive at the correct result.. for example the operations within the braces (brackets) are to be carried out first.. lastly division happens. You can not arrive at the correct result if you do not follow the correct sequence of operations. Exactly same is true in the field of Hatha Yoga, wherein we take help of Pranayama to control the mind and raise the consciousness or serpent energy coil of Kundalini to its destination of Sahasraara, the Chakra situated at 10th opening of our body, leading to self-realization or enlightenment.

Let us remember if we are working in the field of Hatha Yoga and want it to work without any side-effetcs or harmful effects we should follow it in exactly the same sequence it has been prescribed. We can neither change the sequence of sutras/discipline nor can we skip a step. Needless to say Yama & Niyama is a preparatory step for taking up Asana. Just as Nadishodhana is to Pranayama.. Pratyahara is to Dharana.. and Dhyaan is to Samadhi.

Yoga was never thought to be, at least to Patanjalis or Gorakhnaths, as a means to attain great physical health nevertheless the pleasant side effects of Yoga were inevitably there thus all Yoga Practitioners enjoyed great lengths of lifespan, at times a few hundred years against the normal human life of 120 Years! But still the latent purpose behind this extension of lifespan was always ‘self-realization’..

Coming back to pre-requisites of Pranayama- how and when Pranayama practices could be adversely affecting your health and general wellbeing. The The first two steps i.e. Yama and Niyama primarily emphasize upon the disciplined life in terms of purity of thoughts and action, gaining of knowledge and having faith in the presence of God etc. while also providing the guiding principles on how to conduct ourselves with others.

To be precise there were five Do’s and Five Don’ts. The five dont’s are Violence & killing ~ Lying or untruthfulness ~ Stealing & misappropriation ~ Continence ~ Greed & selfishness and five do’s are Purity in thought, deeds, & body ~ Contentment with self ~ Spiritual discipline ~ Spiritual learning ~ Surrender to God. Each has its own value in the whole system of Yoga. It is important to know that how each of these do’s and don’t’s affect the flow of energy in our body and for sure they do affect the flow of energy in our body so there is no escaping.

If I start interpretting each of these do’s and dont’s it would become a complete 3 hours discourse for the readers so keep it brief I take up only the continence and breath-mastery (pranayama). Now I have knowingly put up the word continence instead of celibacy because through my interactions with many enlightened masters (many of them happen to be married or with spiritual partners of opposite sex too) I have come to understand that sex is never what is the culprit in blocking the path forward but sexuality is. And what is the difference?

The differnece is that in sexuality there is continuous greed, obsession, ringing thoughts and scenes of the act in the mind of the subject; in this way with each and every stimulous received from outside one is projecting one’s own imagination and thus creating a energy build up around the wrong center i.e. mind. The Mind is not supposed to handle sex energy at least in the form it is built up in sexual thinking which makes it dangerous and harmful. Sexuality is a skewed way of looking at people and things, it is loss of perspective and energy both. On the contrary a healthy sexual act essentially with love, compatibility and committment is a natural process for which sanctity is also given in scriptures of every religion and even in Vedas. Sex is no obstacle to your spiritual ascension however if you are engaged in some sort of Yoga practice you must freely discuss it with your master or guide on preserving the energy during the act and also make the very process of conjugation helpful in elevating your energies to higher chakras. Although not easy but there are certain methods to achieve that. To your surprise there is method of elevating the energy levels using the similar act even without a partner (Mind you there is never an ejaculation though)!

At the kind of age you are in whenever some energy boosting Pranayamas like Bhastrika or Kapalbhati are practised enormous amount of energy is generated and normally this finds outlet only in two opened gates i.e. anger and sex. If the mind has not been trained and disciplined, the sex would turn itself to sexuality and anger will make devil of you. Even in Vedic texts we have mention of Rishi Durvaashaa, the otherwise a very powerful master but prone to provocations and anger. I have seen it happening with many and you are no exception. This happens because neither have you been able to create other pathways for energy release, nor you have been taught to use this excess energy to help in hitting and lifting the Kundalini power in you. Thats the only reason Ancient Indian Gurukuls admitted boys at the age of 8 years for Yoga Practices for that will give masters leverage of having time and opportunities of modulating the complete thought pattern of the disciple and also creating the release channels other than animalistic ones of anger and Sex. This early start would also help the masters in terms of Shuddhikaran (purification) aspect because at the age of 8 hardly any of the nadis are blocked or clogged.

Unfortunately for the modern (health) seeker is neither presented with the elaborate knowledge nor is he himself probably ready to take it because of his own pseudo-busy-ness which he calls his business. So today’s Vitteshnaa and Lokeshnaa driven spiritual masters make it a point they capitalize on your busy-ness. Most of them knowingly (I feel) give you short-cuts which is definitely not a Master-like behaviour but definitely suits your temperament. So instead of real process of YOG you grab AIOG [sounds like a-Yog ] All-In-One-Go; howsoever harmful it might be in long run. I would continue to hammer and hit around to emphasize the nadishodhana before attempting pranayama because it is my duty to do so and its my conviction that its not too far off in timw when people shall recognize the value of authentic Yoga system as prescribed in Vedas and the words of wise Masters.

Perry, I have discussed about the possibilities and Masturbating while practising Yoga can also be the cause however for the physical issues you are facing currently and written about the first thing to be done is to become sure of this being thoroughly tested by the modern medicine system and its root cause. Get yourself checked up properly and find out what doctors have to say about your issues. Once they give you a clean chit or are up against a wall in both the cases my advice would be worth.

As of now all I suggest is to stop practising all sorts of Pranayama and involve yourself with some social activities to be able to channelize your energy. If this state is due to accumulation of energy in and around your brain, affecting your hearing it will subside to a great extent in next 4-7 weeks. Remember to not load your system with toxins like alchohol, tobacco, pain-killers or sexual thoughts.. laugh at least 20 times a day (for a reason or even without), drink lots of water. Wish you a speedy recovery.

Love and Light

– Agyaatdarshan

Pranayam’s Negative effects -II

Thanks for highligting the dangers of pranayama. In order to rid myself of my stomach ailment i have tried Sri Sri Ravishankar’s sudarshan kriya . Sudarshan Kriya worsened my situation so bad that I was almost bed ridden for a week with fever and headaches, I got heat boils and skin rashes and even piles from sudarshan kriya. It was only after I stopped this and took triphala i got some relief.

After this I tried baba ramdev’s pranayama, all the seven. I think Ramdev is too simplistic to claim everythign will be cured by these seven pranayamas. I did it all and my digestion only worsened and I started getting nervous and fidgety. I realised that the culprit is kapalabhati. I was doing this for 10 minutes. The days i stopped doing kapalabhati it was okay. I slowly switched to doing only Anulom Vilom and things got better for me. Now I do suryanamaskaras and anulom vilom. If someone had warned me earlier of dangers of rapid and quick pranayamas like kapalabhati, bhastrika and sudarshan kriya it would have save me from lot of suffering.

Thanks for this blog. i think these holy businessmen willdo anything and claim anything to sell their products. Yoga is great if it is applied judiciously else it can be dangerous. Thanks for this blog and may your tribe increase.

- Subhash

The Vedic system of Yoga is not merely a tool for healthy body.. although improved health is just a pleasant side effect of the correct practice.

The Vedic system of Yoga – The Ashtaang Yoga (Eight fold path to reunion with the Supreme Consciousness) is a scientific approach. It is as accurate as mathematics.. We are just supposed to follow the master under his supervision our simple step by step progress is guaranteed.

Another crucial point – I would like to warn that without having the base minimum Mental Discipline (i.e. Yama and Niyama) and Asana which is a process of making our body & nerves supple and flexible enough, the cleansing of cleansing of energy channels (nadis) is not to be practiced.

Many argue on taking a reverse approach that is by starting the practice of Nadi-Shodhan the required positive changes at mental and physical level can be achieved but I don’t subscribe to it. Not because it is my personal choice but becuase Vedic Yoga system does’t allow me to. It should be clearly understood that without the previous two prerequisites the desired purification of Nadis takes much than longer.

Two reasons for it – One – Our skewed negative thoughts (in absence of Yama/Niyama) continues to accumulate stale energy at all the wrong places and makes it difficult for the Nadi-Shodhan process to finally lead us to a completely cleansed, obstruction free energy channels.

If we do not devote some time practicing Asanas (of course with rhythmic breath associated) everyday we are not able to open up the clogged energy channel. In fact the Asana is the first body workout prescribed in yoga before we indulge in finer processes like Pranayama. I recommend the combination of ‘Shakh Prakshaalana’ and another mind cleansing therapy (special emotion releasing sessions practiced for two days) which helps people unload themselves from body toxins and unwanted negative emotions. These two days of specific practices prepare you to experience Yoga’s benefits more clearly.

I have been continuously warning people about the dangerous side effects of Pranayama and Yoga if not done under proper supervision of a master and I am happy to be of some benefit to people who are ready to listen and take pain to verify my statements.. for others I can only express my sympathy for their brain nerves have probably gone dead due to excess practice of Kapalbhati and Bhastrika :-)

I am soon going to present the “Dangers of Meditation” too.. so keep coming and help spread the awareness..

Love and Light

– Agyaatdarshan

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