In Sanskrit Bhastrika means ‘bellows’. Rapid succession of forcible expulsion is a characteristic feature of Bhastrika. Just as a blacksmith blows his bellows rapidly, so also you should move your breath rapidly while practicing Bhastrika Pranayama.
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- 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 practice this Pranayama a hissing sound is produced.
- You should start with rapid expulsions of breath following one another in rapid succession. When the required number of expulsions 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.
Bhastrika is a powerful exercise. A combination of Kapalbhati and Ujjayi makes up Bhastrika. Practice Kapalbhati and Ujjayi to start with. Then you will find it very easy to do Bhastrika.
The number of exhalations or rounds is determined by the strength and capacity of the practitioner. You must not go to extremes. In starting you should do three rounds afterwards as per your strength and stamina you can increase it up to 12 rounds.
Bhastrika can be done both in the morning and evening in winter. In summer do it in the morning only during cool hours.
- Bhastrika Pranayama should be practiced under supervision of a Yoga expert.
- If you experience any giddiness stop the practice and take a few normal breaths. Continue the practice after the giddiness has vanished. If again you are feeling giddy; you should stop practicing Bhastrika and practice more with Kapalbhati and Ujjayi for few more days. Then you should try again.
- Do not practice Bhastrika Pranayama during Pregnancy. It may cause prolapse of abdominal organs or uterus while the breasts may sag, High Blood Pressure, Lung, Heart, eye and ear problems
- Bhastrika Pranayama should not be practiced by a fellow who is suffering from Vertigo or hernia
- Bhastrika Pranayama relieves inflammation of the throat, increases gastric fire, destroys phlegm, removes diseases of the nose and chest and eradicates asthma, consumption, etc.
- Bhastrika Pranayama gives good appetite.
- Bhastrika Pranayama removes all diseases which arise from excess of wind, bile and phlegm.
- Yogic importance: Bhastrika Pranayama breaks the three Granthis or knots viz., Brahma Granthi, Vishnu Granthi and Rudra Granthi. It enables a fellow to know the Kundalini.
- Bhastrika Pranayama purifies the Nadis considerably. It is the most beneficial of all Kumbhakas.