About Bhastrika Pranayama ( Bellow’s Breath ):
One of the main forms of pranayama is Bhastrika pranayama. In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means the ‘bellows’. Just as to create heat and purify iron, the blacksmith blows his bellows, Bhastrika is said to purify the mind and clear pranic blocks. Bhastrika is mentioned in the yoga texts Hath Yoga.
Bhastrika involves both rapid inhalation as well as exhalation. This helps to increase the circulation of blood in the entire body.
During rapid and forced exhalation, the chest is compressed, thus push the blood towards the head. During the inhalation, the reverse takes place. This process increases the flow of blood to every part of the body thus increasing the vitality of all the organs and tissues. Long term practice of Bhastrika purifies the body and awakens the inherent high powers.
During Bhastrika, the increase in blood flow causes a slight rise in body temperature, along with mild sweating which reduces the temperature and keeps the body at normal temperature. Most of the pranayama techniques either increases or decreases the body temperature but Bhastrika more or less maintains the same body temperature. Bhastrika also increases the oxygen content in the blood.
Those suffering from heart diseases should avoid this pranayama. Also avoid it when you have a severe block of the nose. Those with acute asthma and fever should also not attempt this pranayam. If you had any recent surgery, please consult your doctor before attempting this pranayam. Practice of Bhastrika can be little intense for some people. It should be learned only under the guidance of a well qualified yoga instructor. In case of any existing medical conditions, please consult your doctor before taking up the practice.
Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama ( Bellow’s Breath ):
1. Helps to throw out toxins and cures illnesses of respiratory tract.
2. Boosts the supply of oxygen and purifies blood.
3. Helps to keep negative thoughts away.
4. Increases warmth in the body and helps to prevent common cold.
5. Regular practice of Bhastrika pranayama keeps you away from all diseases.
6. Performing pranayama early in the morning helps one to obtain naturally glowing skin.
7. It removes blockages in the nose and chest.
8. It is good for asthma patients and removes inflammation of the throat.
9. It increases the gastric fire and improves appetite.
10. It improves general health and activates all the organs.
11. It purifies the nadis and the energy (pranic) channels in the body, ensuring free flow of prana to all the organs in the body.
12. Helps to stronger the lungs.
Precautions Bhastrika Pranayama ( Bellow’s Breath ):
1. Bhastrika pranayama should be practiced on an empty stomach.
2. It should be done in the morning or evening or both. If you don’t have the time in the morning or evening, you can do it at your own convenience.
3. Make sure that you practice Bhastrika pranayama 4–5 hours after having your food.
4. This pranayama should not be practiced by pregnant women or people having high blood pressure.
5. Beginners should practice this pranayama slowly.
6. Those suffering from heart diseases should avoid this pranayama.
7. Those with acute asthma and fever should also not attempt Bhastrika.
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How to Start Bhastrika Pranayama ( Bellow’s Breath ):
1. Sit in a comfortable pose. We advice you to sit with your backbone straight and make sure you fill breath in lungs.
2. Choose a level of exercise, you can easily keep up with and breathe comfortably.
Set your value of inhale and exhale.
Ratio of Inhale and Exhale is 1:2.
Pranayama beginners should start with the ratio of 1:1 for inhale and exhale. For instance if you inhale through one nostril for 4 seconds, then the exhalation from the other nostril should also be for 4 seconds. As you progress, the ratio for inhale and exhale can be changed to 1:2, which means if inhalation is 4 seconds, then exhalation is 8 seconds.3. Close Your Eyes.
How Does It Works?
Press ‘Start’ to begin:
1. Breathe in by inhaling forcefully through both the nostrils. Make sure that your lungs are filled with air. When you breathe in while performing Bhastrika pranayama, your chest area should blow up instead of your abdominal.
2. Once you inhale fully, exhale with great force making hissing sound.
3. Repeat from Step 1.