Bhastrika pranayama, or “bellows breathing“, eliminates toxins and oxygenates the body and mind. Just as a blacksmith would use bellows to get the fire burning this technique raises the temperature in the body to burn up impurities.
Proper practice of this breathing technique boosts blood flow to the brain and as the subtle nerve systems are stimulated you can experience a huge increase in energy. This is a great technique to use if you are outdoors and very cold.
Important note. Don’t use this technique if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, hernia, gastric ulcer, stroke, epilepsy, vertigo or have suffered from a detached retina. If you have asthma it is best to practice under guidance.
How To Practice Bhastrika Pranayama
1. Sit comfortably with straight spine and neck. Close the right nostril.
2. Inhale and exhale forcefully through the left nostril. Due this without undue strain and allow the abdomen to act like a bellows. The abdominal area is expanded on inhalation, and contracted on exhalaton.
3. Do this 10 times.
4. At the end of the 10th time inhale and hold the breath as long as you comfortable can in the body. Contract the anus.
5. Relax the anus, and allow the breath to be release through the left nostril.
6. Repeat the above but with the right nostril.
7. Repeat the above but with both nostrils.
Don’t overdo it. In the beginning do this once or twice, then slowly build up. Find a pace you are comfortable with and allow your practice to develop.