Bhastrika Pranayam

Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellow breath)

Pranayama is practice of breathing in yoga or it is yogic breathing. The word Bhastrika Pranayama comes from the Sanskrit word Bhastrika, which basically means breathing like a bellows. It is also known as breath of fire.

Prana refers to vital energy needed for us to live, which differentiates living from dead. Our breathing is linked to our emotions and for every emotion that we feel we have a particular type of breathing. Practice various types of breathing in yoga helps us to overcome hurdles in life.

Bhastrika pranayama is a type of paranayama which should be practiced when the energy level is low and to improve the brain fog. In this type both inhalation and exhalation both are forced. The movement of belly along with every breath is an optional variation. So Bhastrika Pranayama is all about inhaling and exhaling completely so that our body gets sufficient amount of oxygen.

The benefits of doing Bhastrika pranayama or bellow breathing is:

  • Quickly calms the mind, reducing worries and anxieties
  • Improves focus and attention, removing brain fog
  • Increases energy, bringing enthusiasm and positivity
  • Strengthens lungs
  • Balancing of tridosha dhatus
  • It also helps in increasing blood flow

Follow these steps to do bhastrika pranayama ;

  1. Sit up tall in easy – Padmasana pose and relax your shoulders.
  2. Take a few deep, breaths in and out from your nose. With each inhale, expand your belly fully as you breathe.
  3. Begin bellows breathing by exhaling forcefully through your nose. Follow by inhaling forcefully at the rate of one second per cycle.
  4. Make sure the breath is coming from your diaphragm; keep your head, neck, shoulders, and chest still while your belly moves in and out.

What your mind and body should do simultaneously while practicing Bhastrika pranayama?

  • In this, inhaling and exhaling should take the same length of time-2.5 seconds to breathe in and 2.5 seconds to breathe out.
  • While you breathe in (inhale) assume that you are taking in positive energy and vibrations, and that you are being energized by them.
  • During breathe out (exhale), imagine that you are taking out all the toxins from our body and find. (feel that during breathe out all the toxins comes out through your breathe)

One can practice three cycles each time:

  • First cycle: Move through a round of 10 Bhastrika breaths, then take a break and breathe naturally, observing the sensations in your mind and body.
  • 2nd cycle: After a 15- to 30-second break, begin the next round with 20 breaths.
  • At the end: after pausing for another 30 seconds, complete a third round of 30 bellows breaths.

Caution:

  • Bellows breathing is a safe practice, but if you feel light-headed in any way, pause for a few minutes while breathing naturally. When the discomfort passes, try another round of bellows breathing, slower and with less intensity.
  • If you are suffering from high blood pressure and acute heart problem then, don’t perform Bhastrika breathing.
  • Do not practice Bhastrika pranayam if you are pregnant.

References:

  • http://www.yogaindailylife.org

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