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Bhastrika Pranayama:Methods and Benefits

By - Mrs. Ruchita Tripathi

In Sanskrit Bhastrika means 'bellows'. Rapid succession of forcible expulsion is a characteristic feature of Bhastrika.

Method of Practice:
Sit on Padmasana. Keep the body, neck and head erect. Close the mouth. Next, inhale and exhale quickly ten times like the bellows of the blacksmith. Constantly dilate and contract. When you practise this Pranayama a hissing sound is produced. The practitioner should start with rapid expulsions of breath following one another in rapid succession. When the required number of expulsions, say ten for a round, is finished, the final expulsion is followed by a deepest possible inhalation. The breath is suspended as long as it could be done with comfort. Then deepest possible exhalation is done very slowly. The end of this deep exhalation completes one round of Bhastrika. Rest a while after one round is over by taking a few normal breaths. This will give you relief and make you fit for starting the second round. Do three rounds daily in the morning. You can do another three rounds in the evening also. Busy people who find it difficult to do three rounds of Bhastrika can do one round at least. This also will keep them quite fit.

Bhastrika is a powerful exercise. A combination of Kapalabhati and Ujjayi makes up Bhastrika. Practise Kapalabhati and Ujjayi to start with. Then you will find it very easy to do Bhastrika.

Some prolong the practice till they get tired. You will get perspiration profusely. If you experience any giddiness stop the practice and take a few normal breaths. Continue the practice after the giddiness has vanished. Bhastrika can be done both in the morning and evening in winter. In summer do it in the morning only during cool hours.

Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama:

  • 1. Relieves inflammation of the throat
  • 2. Increases gastric fire
  • 3. Removes diseases of the nose and chest and eradicates asthma etc.
  • 4. It gives good appetite.
  • 5. It breaks and dissolve the tumors.
  • 6. It enables one to know the Kundalini.
  • 7. It removes all diseases which arise from excess of wind, bile and phlegm.
  • 8. It gives warmth to the body.
  • 9. Purifies the Nadis considerably
  • 10. Very much useful in Muscular Dystrophy and Oxygen deficiency disorders.
  • 11. This Pranayama brings about a proper balance of the three Doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and maintains their balance. Blood is purified and the body gets rid of foreign objects and toxins.
  • 12. Stabilizes Prana and calms mind, and helps the upward journey
The practitioner will never suffer from any disease. He will always be healthy. You can practise Bhastrika in the following manner. There is some slight change in the end. Having inhaled and exhaled quickly twenty times, inhale through the right nostril, retain the breath as long as you can do it comfortably and then exhale through the left nostril.

Incase both the nostrils do not open on account of ailments like severe cough or sinus etc., for such persons they should first close the right nostril and do respiration (exhalation as well as inhalation) through the left nostril. Then the left nostril should be closed and respiration should be done by the right nostril. This method of alternate breathing should be continued at the desired speed viz. slow, moderate or fast, till both the nostrils open simultaneously. Then at the end Pranayama should be completed by doing Recak and Pruaka through both Ida and Pingala.

While inhaling in the process of doing Bhastrika make a vow and focus in your mind as if all the divine powers, purity, peace and joy, all that is good in the universe around you is entering inside your body and that you are getting filled with the divine powers. Pranayama done with this kind of vow in mind imparts a special benefit to the individual.

While doing this Pranayama keep both the eyes closed and mentally chant the mantra “OM” throughout the exercise of Pranayama.

Precaution:
This pranayama should not be practiced by people who are pregnant or have high blood pressure. This pranayama should not be practiced by people who are pregnant or have high blood pressure. Beginners should practice this pranayama slowly at first, allowing their bodies time to adapt to the practice. Bhastrika is essentially a controlled hyperventilation, so the increased levels of oxygen in your bloodstream may make you feel lightheaded or anxious, especially if you are new to the practice. If this happens, take a break and allow your breath to return to normal.

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