We studied cardiovascular and respiratory changes during yogic breathing exercise kapalabhati (KB) in 17 advanced yoga practitioners. The exercise consisted in fast shallow abdominal respiratory movements at about 2 Hz frequency. Blood pressure, ECG and respiration were recorded continuously during three 5 min periods of KB and during pre- and post-KB resting periods. The beat-to-beat series of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), R-R intervals and respiration were analysed by spectral analysis of time series. The mean absolute power was calculated in three frequency bands--band of spontaneous respiration, band of 0.1 Hz rhythm and the low-frequency band greater than 15 s in all spectra. The mean modulus calculated between SBP and R-R intervals was used as a parameter of baroreceptor-cardiac reflex sensitivity (BRS). Heart rate increased by 9 beats per min during KB. SBP and DBP increased during KB by 15 and 6 mmHg respectively. All frequency bands of R-R interval variability were reduced in KB. Also the BRS parameter was reduced in KB. The amplitude of the high-frequency oscillations in SBP and DBP increased during KB. The low-frequency blood pressure oscillations were increased after KB. The results point to decreased cardiac vagal tone during KB which was due to changes in respiratory pattern and due to decreased sensitivity of arterial baroreflex. Decreased respiratory rate and increased SBP and low-frequency blood pressure oscillations after KB suggest a differentiated pattern of vegetative activation and inhibition associated with KB exercise.