Bhastrikā (bellows) prāṇāyāma technique

School of Yoga bhastrikā (bellows) prāṇāyāma.

In bhastrikā-prāṇāyāma, the practitioner rapidly inhales and exhales using the diaphragm only.

School of Yoga explains – bhastrikā technique

  • Sit in padmāsana, siddhāsana or vajrāsana.
  • Keep mouth closed. Also, let the tongue touch the top of the palate to close the circuit of prāṇa flow.
  • Place hands in chin or chinmaya-mudra.
  • Breathing in through the nostril, draw the diaphragm down rapidly. 
  • At the end of inhalation, exhale rapidly, pushing the air our vigorously.
  • Repeat 20 to 50 times to a maximum of 2 sittings.

School of Yoga explains – bhastrikā benefits: 

  • This prāṇāyāma strengthens the upper respiratory tract. The mucosa along the track is cleaned out. Therefore, when the waste is discharged, there is maintenance of body temperature, hence homeostasis.
  • The rapid movement of air also strengthens the trachea and lungs. Consequently, there is activation of stagnant alveoli, resulting in improved lung function.
  • Bhastrikā helps in preventing cold.
  • Also, the rapid movement of air increases volumetric efficiency of the lungs and heart function.
  • This breathing strengthens the functioning of the thoracic nerves whch control the functioning of the heart and lungs.

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika on bhastrikā (Chapter 2, verse 59 to 67)

  • Bhastrikā– When the feet are placed on the opposite thighs, it is called padmāsana, the destroyer of all sins.
  • Assuming balanced padmāsana and an erect body, the intelligent practitioner should exhale through the nostrils.
  • It should then be inhaled rapidly with force until there is an experience of resound in the heart, throat upto the skull.
  • It should be expelled repeatedly and filled again and again like a blacksmith using his bellows.
  • In the same manner, he should move the prana within the body and when experiencing fatigue, inhale using the right (piṅgalā-nāḍī) nostril.
  • As soon as the lungs are filled quickly with air, the right nostril should be closed with the ring finger and kept confined.
  • Having performed kumbhaka properly, it should be expelled through the left nostril. This destroys vata (air), pitta (bile) and kapha (phlegm) and increases gastric fires.
  • The kundalini is quickly aroused; pleasant, purifying and beneficial. Any phlegm and other impurities which may be accumulated at the entrance to the brahma-nāḍī are destroyed.
  • Bhastrikā should be performed plentifully for it breaks the 3 knots that are firmly placed on the suṣumṇā-nāḍi. (brahma-granthi in the anāhata, vishnu-granthi in the viśuddhi and rudra-granthi in the ājñā )

Internal Links: Dharma (conditioning), Stress and Situational Awareness, Prana, Asana overview 1, Asana Overview 2, Asana Focus or gazingHatha Yoga Pradeepika

External Links: Prana, Chakra, Pancha Tattva, Pancha Prana, Pancha Kosha, NadiBreathing


Prāṇāyāma Techniques – bhastrikā

Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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