Bhastrika Pranayama: The Benefits of The Bellows Breath

Bhastrika pranayama literally means bellows breathing as a leather bag forcefully blowing the air into the flame. If you have ever seen a blacksmith in a movie or during a medieval fair, you might have noticed the leather instrument he used to make the coals glowing red.

As the blacksmiths bellows make the fire blazing, so will Bhastrika pranayama instantly invigorate you, filling with energy. Better and healthier than coffee, it is a perfect practice for the beginning of the day!

How To Perform Bhastrika Pranayama?

  • Sit in a meditative posture. You can put a cushion under your pelvis to make the position more comfortable. Make sure that your spine is straight!
  • To begin, start rapidly inhaling and exhaling small puffs of air. Breathe vigorously through your nose
  • Focus your attention on your belly. Notice, that with every inhalation your belly goes out and that it goes in with every exhalation. Try to expel and draw in the air with the forceful movements of the abdomen, while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • At the beginning of your training of Bhastrika pranayama, you may find useful sitting in front of the mirror. This will help you to monitor your posture and observe the movement of your body.
  • Begin with 2 seconds inhalations and 2 seconds exhalations. Once you are comfortable with the breathing technique, increase the speed to 1 second inhalations and 1 second exhalations, giving a total sum of 30 breath cycles per minute. Then, you can increase the speed to one breath per second. Once you master Bhastrika pranayama, you can continue working on the speed of your breath, gradually increasing it to 2 or even 3 breaths per minute.
  • Do not practice Bhastrika pranayama for too long. Two to three minutes is enough per session!
  • If needed, consult this video

Bhastrika Pranayama Will Strengthen Your Body

The practice of Bhastrika pranayama has a numerous benefits for your health. The forceful breathing stimulates your cardiovascular system and helps to expel the toxins from your body.

Rhythmic movements of your abdomen massage your inner organs, giving a boost to your gastric system. Quick exhalations clean your air passages, thus providing help in allergy, asthma and respiratory problems.

Bhastrika Pranayama Will Make Your Breath Deeper

Although you have been breathing throughout every moment of your life, chances are you are not doing it properly. To master the yogi breathing you need to learn how to use the full capacity of your lungs. In order to do that, you have to consciously use your breathing muscles.

Bad breathing habits may pose a serious threat to your health, as it puts your organism in state of constant stress. Bhastrika pranayama trains the strength of your most important breathing muscles. In turn, your tidal volume – the amount of air you can inhale with one breath – increases, allowing you to provide your body with enough oxygen.

Bhastrika Pranayama Will Make Your Voice Better

The bellows breath exercise gives a great workout for your diaphragm – a thin sheet of muscles lying just beneath your lungs.  Although there are different groups of muscles that operate the process of breathing, the diaphragm is the most important. It allows you to inhale the air deeply into your lungs.

Yogis were not the only ones to discover the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing – so were the martial artists and… singers. The power of your diaphragm makes your voice much louder and cleaner, as the air is steadily and forcefully pushed out of your lungs with the help of this muscle. Even if you are not too keen on singing, the Bhastrika pranayama will greatly improve your public speaking, making you not only easier to hear, but also more confident of your own voice!