Bhastrika Pranayam (Bellow’s Breath) helps to increase Prana or vital energy and keeps the body healthy and mind happy.
Bhastrika Pranayam (Bellow’s Breath)
Bhastrika increases blood flow causes a slight rise in body temperature, accompanied with mild sweating. Bhastrika increases the oxygen content in the blood.
Bhastrika Pranayama is a Sanskrit word; Bhastrika means bellows and pranayama mean breathing, literally means bellow breathing. Just as the blacksmith blows the bellows to create heat to purifies iron and shape; Bhastrika increases body heat and purifies the mind & clear pranic blockage.
It is better to practice Bhastrika when the temperature is not hot; during summer practice only in the morning. However, in the winter you can practice it both in the morning and evening. It should be practice on an empty stomach.
How to do the Bhastrika pranayama?
- Sit in Padmasana, Siddhasana, Vajrasana, or sit erect, shoulder relaxed, and mouth closed.
- Take few deep inhalation with a belly fully expand and followed by exhalation.
- Start bellow breathing by rapid, forceful exhaling through your nose, followed by inhalation with a hissing sound at a rate of one cycle per second.
- Make sure your breath is from your diaphragm, at the same time keep your head, neck, shoulders, and chest without movement while your belly moves in and out rhythmically.
- Begin with ten inhalations and exhalation for one round. Slowly you can increase over time; some even do it until perspire.
Listen to your body during practice, if you feel light-headed pause for a few minutes while breathing naturally. Do another round of bellows breathing, slower with less intensity.
11 Benefits of Bellow’s Breath
- Increases the oxygen level in the blood, thus replenishes the entire body.
- Removes nose and chest blockage, useful for asthma patients and relieves throat inflammation.
- Good for digestion; increases gastric fire, appetite, and metabolism.
- Activate all internal organs, thus improves overall wellbeing.
- Purifies Nadis (energy channels) in your body and ensures free pranic flow to all organs in your body.
- Remove imbalances of Vata (wind), Pitta (bile), and Kapha (phlegm) and balances all these three doshas. So provide relief from almost all health conditions and improves your health.
- Improves memory and make your mind sharper.
- Refreshes you entirely; a healthy body and happy mind.
- Useful for weight loss, it accelerates the rate of fat burning by the body and trims stomach.
- Get rid of negative thoughts and keep your depression away.
- Finally, it improves your entire body from head to toe.
Precautions and Contraindications
People suffering from heart diseases should not practice this pranayama. Avoid it when you have severe nose block, asthma, fever, or any recent surgery.
Do not practice if you are pregnant, uncontrolled hypertension, epilepsy, seizures, or panic disorder. Never to this pranayama on a full stomach, wait at least three hours after eating.
Clinical studies on Bhastrika pranayama
Slow pace bhastrika pranayama (respiratory rate 6/min) exercise thus shows a strong tendency to improving the autonomic nervous system through enhanced activation of the parasympathetic system. Baroreceptor sensitivity can be enhanced significantly by slow breathing (supported by a small reduction in the heart rate observed during slow breathing and by a reduction in both systolic and diastolic pressure). [J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Mar; 15(3):293-5.]
Pranayama exercises are beneficial for the better maintenance of pulmonary functions, even in normal healthy people after 12 weeks of practice. [International Research Journal of Pharmacy 16/03/12]