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Bhastrika Pranayama: A Novice’s Handbook


Have you been pushed under pressure that you just want to bellow it out on the top of a mountain; Bhastrika pranayama is a breathing technique mainly for the mind and heart but It also benefits other parts of the body. The word Bhastrika literally translates to breathing like the bellows in Sanskrit. Where bellow refers to a device used to blow air and promote the combustion of fire. Hence the ancient yogics believed that this breathing technique is the “yoga breath of fire” as it is powerful enough to kindle a fire in you.

If you have already mastered Kapalbhati pranayama, this breathing technique becomes easier to purse as Kapalbhati involves passive inhalation and forced exhalation while in Bhastrika both of them are forced.

Read on to learn how to perform Bhastrika and the benefits you get by adding it to your daily routine.



How to perform Bhastrika?

The below steps are based on “Hatha Pradipika”, modern variation accompanies breaths with the movement of arms and shoulders.

  • Sit in padmasana (lotus position) and relax with eyes closed.
  • Take a deep breath through your nostrils so as to produce a hissing noise and fill your lungs completely
  • Then expel air out completely through the nostrils at the same pace as your inhalation.
  • Both inhalation and exhalation must take the same amount of time.
  • While inhaling align your mind to take in all the positive energy, and on exhaling push out the toxic and negative energy.
  • Complete 10 breaths and relax, breathing naturally for 20 seconds and repeat your next cycle with 20 breaths; stop to breathe naturally for another 20 seconds and move on to the next cycle of 30 breaths.

During inhalation expand your stomach and during exhalation push, your stomach inwards towards your spine; if you’re a beginner placing your hand on your stomach will ensure correct movement.



When to perform Bhastrika?

  • In the morning to energize you for the rest of your day as bhastrika can improve circulation.
  • Before a yoga routine or exercise to improve energy levels in your body
  • Whenever you are nervous or stressed as Bhastrika can help calm down your mind
  • This breathing technique can help you ease the roadblock in your thought process.

Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama

  • Promotes respiratory health
  • Clears up and calms the stressed mind.
  • Bolsters the immune system
  • Improves circulation and energy levels
  • Promotes digestive health.

Precautions

Do not practice Bhastrika pranayama if you are pregnant or have been diagnosed with a medical condition. Do not practice on a full stomach, wait for two hours after a meal. Practice this pranayama with caution while understanding your lung capacity.