Kapalabhati is an important shatkarma, a purification in hatha yoga. The word kapalabhati is made up of two Sanskrit words: kapāla meaning “skull”, and bhāti meaning “shining, illuminating”. It is intended mainly for cleaning the sinuses but according to the Gheranda Samhita has magical curative effects.
When the nostrils are flowing evenly, it induces a quiet, calm, balanced mind in preparation for meditation. Nadi shodhana is a pranayama practice where the breath is consciously, physically regulated to enhance the flow of air through the nostrils as a method to balance the energy of the body and the mind.