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Bhastrika Pranayama: Bellows Breathing Method

Bhastrika Pranayama/ Bellows Breathing technique is a breathing exercise that optimises the level of oxygen in our body and calms the mind. Regular practice of Bhastrika pranayama is also said to prevent various illnesses affecting our respiratory track.

How to practice Bhastrika Pranayama

1. Sit comfortably on a chair or on the ground. It is better if you can sit in a lotus posture. (In a lotus posture, one sits on the ground with a straight back and neck)

2. Keep your mouth closed. This is to ensure that you breathe only through your nose. Make sure that your nose is clear.

3. Start by breathing normally and relaxedly for a while, post which, inhale forcefully through both your nostrils till you feel that your lungs are full of air. Once you are through with the inhalation, exhale forcefully through your nostrils. Repeat this process of forceful inhalation and exhalation at least 10 times.

4. While you Breathe in (Inhalation) assume that you are taking in the energising positive energy and vibrations.

5. While you Breathe out (exhalation) imagine that you are exhaling out all the toxins from the body.

6. Finish this breathing exercise by taking a few rhythmic in and out breaths.

Bhastrika Pranayama is also known as Bellows Breath and/or Agni Saar/ Breath of Fire.

Word of caution while practising Bellows Breathing:

1. One might encounter difficulty falling asleep immediately after the practice of Bhastrika pranayama as it stimulates the brain.  So, one should avoid practicing it around bedtime.

2. If you feel dizzy during the practice, stop it and resume after a while. You can even try reducing the intensity of inhalation and exhalation, if you feel constantly giddy during the practice.

3. It is better if you don’t practice this technique on an empty stomach.

You should not practice it if you are:

1. Pregnant.

2. Have had epileptic seizures.

3. Hypertensive- Have high Blood Pressure.

Bhastrika Pranayama Benefits:

1. Relieves Throat inflammation.

2. Rids the body of toxins and stale energy.

3. Burns Ama, activates gastric fire; increases appetite.

4. Removes diseases of respiration; can help overcome asthma.

6. Balances and uplifts Prana energy and helps calm the mind to its the upward journey.

7. Bellows Breath burns fat. It can help if you are considering natural weight loss methods.

8. Bhastrika can be benefit in cases of  Muscular Dystrophy and Oxygen deficiency disorders.

9. Bhastrika/ Bellows Breathing brings a balance to the three Doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta, Kapha.

10. Bhastrika breathing technique helps to activate the Solar Plexus ‘Manipura’ Chakra energy. It is also known as the Kundalini preparing pranayama. This Breathing technique also prepares the body mind for deeper yoga meditation practice.

11. Bellows Breathing technique helps overcome depression due to its subjective experience of elation and the subsequent calmness… It helps shift gears from the sympathetic ‘elation’ nervous response to para-sympathetic ‘calmness’ nervous response.

Bhastrika/ Bellows Breath benefits are immense but only if done correctly. I request you to take the advice of your nearest yoga guide.
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