Bhastrika Pranayama Benefits

Breathing is basis of life. It is therefore very important as to how we breathe. When a person is stressed or restless, his breath is shallow. Deep breath on the other hand indicates good health, mind and body being in harmony, and high level of focus. Healthy breathing can enhance all aspects of wellness helping us achieve our true potential.

Long and deep breath enhances concentration, improves productivity and performance. Deep and long breath oxygenates blood which nourishes various organs and help them function optimally. It increases blood flow to brain and balances the two hemispheres of it. Various pranayamas boost immunity and strengthens the nervous system.

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This is the reason, Yoga has put a lot of emphasis on right breathing. The various breathing techniques to bring the mind in the state of equanimity have been provided in this ancient tradition to attain oneness with the God. In Yoga, breathing techniques are called Pranayamas. The word Pranayama literally means to elevate the ‘prana shakti’. The technique finds mention in ancient texts like Bhagvad Gita and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Various texts on yoga have elaborately discussed the benefits of pranayamas. They have talked about different breathing techniques impacting body and mind positively. From increasing metabolism to raising overall physical and mental health, pranayamas form the core of any modules of Yoga science. Practicing Bhastrika pranayama harmonizes the three doshas of the body: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Through Pranayamas, the practitioner is able to take control of their mind and raise energy level.

An essential part of yoga regime, pranayama takes the life force to body and mind. It regulates breathing to calm the mind. Bhastrika is one such pranayamas which brings immense benefits.

Bhastrika is one of the advanced breathing techniques which burns toxins, rejuvenates lungs and calms the mind. It cleanses sinuses of excess mucus and free air passages. It raises awareness and boosts energy level.

What is Bhastrika Pranayama and how does it work?

Bhastrika or Bellow Breath is rapid inhalation and exhalation. In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means bellows which were generally used by blacksmiths in olden times. As bellows fan the fire to heat iron, Bhastrika pranayam raises the flow of air in the body. This stokes inner fire and in the process cleanses the body from various impurities. It removes blockages from the respiratory system and promotes optimum lung function.

Steps to do Bhastrika Pranayama

1. First, sit in cross-legged position without putting strain on any part of the body especially shoulders and neck. Keep spine straight.

2. Make a fist and fold your arms. Then place them near your shoulders.

3. Take a deep breath in, raise your hands and open your fists. Thereafter, exhale forcefully. Bring your hands down and close your fists.

4. Do inhalation and exhalation repeatedly and with vigour.

5. Repeat this to the count of 20-30.

6. Then relax with palms on your knees.

7. Take a few normal breaths and then continue two more rounds of Bhastrika pranayams.

Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama

Research has shown that Bhastrika pranayama works at multiple levels. It improves respiratory and digestive functions. It is especially useful for people with asthma as it also enhances lung capacity. Regular Bhastrika exercise reduces anxiety and stress. It helps reduce high blood pressure.

The pranayama raises oxygen level in the blood and increase the vitality of all key organs. As it energises the body and mind, it removes laziness and fills the mind with positive thoughts. It raises the level of mindfulness. In ailments related to sinus and bronchi, Bhastrika significantly alleviates the condition. It is also a good breathing exercise to raise immunity.

Practicing Bhastrika may increase the metabolism and thus help control blood sugar. It has been seen that women suffering from hormonal imbalance also benefit from Bhastrika pranayama. It is known to improve appetite.

Caution while doing Bhastrika/who shouldn't do it

While Bhastrika pranayama ensures holistic well-being and can be performed by most of the people, caution is advised in case of pregnancy and hypertension.

Bhastrika pranayama should ideally be practiced on empty stomach. In case of dizziness or any other discomfort while doing it, the practitioner should immediately consult the yoga instructor.

Pregnant women should avoid doing it. Those suffering with serious health conditions should do it only under the supervision of a good Yoga teacher.

Patients of heart disease, hypertension and high BP must do Bhastrika under close watch of a teacher.

It is always important to listen to your body. If it is not supporting intense exercise, effort should be made to reach the desired level of flexibility and comfort gradually.

Conclusion/How Bhastrika can be life transformative

Bhastrika has proven to be life-transforming. It not only purifies the respiratory channel but improves blood circulation. It takes oxygen-rich blood to each and every organ of the body thus improving their performance. It raises energy level and brings more positive thoughts.

Bhastrika pranayama is very helpful in decreasing blood sugar and manage weight given that metabolism improves through regular breathing exercise.

Bhastrika pranayam enhances focus and concentration. It immensely benefits the mental health.

Often referred to as ‘yogic breath of fire’, Bhastrika pranayama is quite beneficial for people of the kapha (water) orientation.

So, if you want healthy and happy life, do a few sets of Bhastrika pranayama preferably in the morning.