Breathwork and meditation go together perfectly, like rest and relaxation. Typically, many people combine meditation and breathing techniques for wonderful effects on the body. That’s why some breathing techniques shine better in discussions of better meditation experiences. And the Bhastrika Pranayama breathing includes breathwork types that can help for better meditation and yoga. One thing that makes the Bhastrika Pranayama breathing greatly to try is that it helps with cleansing away unwanted and struggling thoughts.
Remarkably, the Bhastrika Pranayama breathing serves as an easy way to relax into a deep meditative state. That sounds like quite an interesting advantage for better meditation and yoga experiences. Hence, it is worth it to know about the Bhastrika Pranayama breathing method. Lucky for you, this is the right guide to know everything about it. Keep reading for more.
Bhastrika Pranayama breathing is two Sanskrit words combined. Bhastrika means bellows, like a blacksmith or metal worker utilizes to fan the flames. On the other hand, Pranayama is a Sanskrit word comprising two words – Prana and Yama. Prana means subtle life energy, while Yama means to control. Hence, it is popularly called bellows breath. As for the technique, it involves quick and powerful inhalation and exhalation. That’s why it is regarded as the yogic breath of fire.
When practicing, it is proven that Bhastrika Pranayama can help with giving more energy to the body by pumping more oxygen through deep breathing. Amazingly, Bhastrika can benefit anyone, especially those who are physically exhausted or feeling stressed. It also provides significant benefits in terms of cleansing for clearing the airways and for increasing energy levels in the body and mind. Ideally, the breathing technique is best for one who feels hazy or confused or when one seeks to gain clarity in a particular area. After all, it is known for purifying the mind and clearing energy blocks.
Bhastrika Pranayama, popularly termed bellows breath, is a sort of yoga breathing exercise with numerous physical and mental health advantages. This breathing technique involves rapid and forceful exhaling and inhaling through both nostrils, creating a bellowing sound. Some of the key benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama breathing include improving respiratory function, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing energy and mental clarity, boosting the immune system, and promoting overall physical and emotional well-being. Here are the others:
A research study showed that regular practice of Bhastrika Pranayama breathing could lead to a significant reduction in anxiety levels. It is crucial to highlight, however, that if you are suffering from extreme anxiety, you should seek the assistance of a mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychiatrist.
Studies have revealed that Bhastrika Pranayama breathing may help lower high blood pressure by dilating blood vessels. However, it is crucial to regularly monitor your blood pressure levels, seek medical treatment, and follow proper medication if you have high blood pressure.
Practicing Bhastrika Pranayama breathing may lead to a reduction in body weight, body mass index (BMI), as well as waist and hip circumference. However, more research is needed to fully establish these findings. If you are overweight, it is advisable to consult with a dietitian for personalized guidance to reach a healthy weight.
Bhastrika Pranayama breathing may lead to an increase in heart rate as it activates the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating involuntary functions like heart rate. It is important to be aware that any issues related to heart function are serious, and if you experience any symptoms related to heart disease, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Bhastrika Pranayama breathing may help lower blood sugar levels by increasing metabolism and improving the uptake of sugar in peripheral tissues. For this reason, it may be a suitable practice for individuals with diabetes. However, it is important to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels and seek medical advice if there are any abnormal readings.
Regular practice of Bhastrika Pranayama breathing has been shown to improve lung function, particularly in older individuals. A study with 40 male volunteers aged 60-70 years old discovered a considerable improvement in respiratory muscle strength, leading to an overall improvement in lung function. This practice may also decrease the risk of lung infections. However, if there is any suspicion of abnormality in lung function, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Studies have shown that Bhastrika Pranayama breathing may improve static balance. Regular practice of this technique has been found to synchronize metabolic and nervous functions, improve mental concentration, reinforce mind stability, and balance cardiovascular rhythms, leading to enhanced overall static stability of the body in times of stillness.
Since the Bhastrika Pranayama involves a forceful breathing method, it can effectively help promote glowing skin. With a little practice with this breathing technique, it can already help with increasing the oxygen supply to the skin. Thus, it is much easier to clear accumulated toxins in the blood. Also, the forceful exhalation process is a great way to remove unwanted toxins from the blood, promoting healthy and glowing skin.
What’s more, the increased oxygen supply as a result of the forceful breathing method can maintain the health and glow of the skin. Hence, this breathwork method is a great technique to practice for those who want to achieve healthier and more glowing skin.
One thing that makes the Bhastrika Pranayama breathing worth learning is the benefits it can give to the brain. Primarily, it helps people who are dealing with depression, anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions. Compared to heavy medications, this breathwork method is a much better and safer alternative. Plus, it doesn’t cost much to learn it, so it is really a great option.
Moreover, this breathwork method guarantees a lot of mental health benefits, such as improving memory and focus and rejuvenating and calming the mind. Also, it can help with boosting the central nervous system functioning for better enhancement of the motor system. Since it can help with brain functioning, better day-to-day functioning, and better meditation experience also follows.
Since the rapid and forceful inhalation and exhalation process is part of the Bhastrika Pranayama, it can help with quick weight loss by providing warmth and heat to the body. While there is still no solid scientific claim regarding Bhastrika Pranayama for weight loss, it already has a definite relationship with the improvement of cardiovascular and respiratory functions.
As this breathwork method can increase oxygen supply, it causes a great boost in the metabolism level of the body. Now, high metabolism results in a faster rate of burning body calories for quick weight loss. Ultimately, there is a need for regularity in practice to obtain maximum benefits. Otherwise, it will be hard to see the benefits.
Here are the quick steps to follow to perform Bhastrika Pranayama breathing effectively and safely:
Practice Bhastrika on an empty stomach in a comfortable seated position, either cross-legged with a cushion or on a chair with feet flat.
Place hands on knees, open chest. Keep your spine straight, eyes closed, and breathe through your nose.
Start with full yogic breaths to calm the mind, then exhale forcefully while contracting the abdomen during Bhastrika practice.
Follow this exhalation with a strong intake, again without strain or stress. Allow the abdomen to actively expand as you inhale, bringing the navel away from the spine as the diaphragm descends toward the pelvic floor.
Exhale forcefully while contracting the abdomen, focusing on equal inhale and exhale length and force during Bhastrika.
Count ten forceful inhales and exhales with equal length and force. After the tenth exhale, hold your breath briefly before exhaling fully. Finish with one deep inhale and a slow exhale. This completes one round of Bhastrika Pranayama.
In Bhastrika, the breath and movements are emphasized, but it is crucial to keep the body relaxed. With each inhale, let the hips and spine rock forward and open the front body. On each exhale, let the hips rock back as the spine contracts slightly. The exaggerated breath movements of the chest and abdomen should also be relaxed.
Start with slow breaths during Bhastrika, one every 2 seconds. Rest between rounds at first. As you progress, you can increase to 5 rounds with ten forceful breaths each, pausing briefly at the top of the tenth inhale, followed by a long exhale and a deep inhalation, ending with a slow exhale.
End your Bhastrika practice with a relaxed breath in and out, then return to normal breathing. Observe your feelings both mentally and physically, and take note of any changes.
Once you have completed your practice, slowly become more present at the moment by opening your eyes. Before getting up and moving on with your day, take a moment to be mindful of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. Reflect on how you feel, and bring your full attention to the present moment as you stand and prepare for the rest of your day.
There are essential things to bear in mind when it comes to practicing the Bhastrika Pranayama breathing. Here are some of the must-know information and tips to follow:
Even though Bhastrika Pranayama breathing is not ideal for some people—including pregnant women and people with migraines—there are hardly any side effects to practicing Bhastrika Pranayama. Yet, it is a must-know that not practicing it right might lead to mild or severe complications. For instance, if you breathe a little more forcefully than required for the method, there’s a chance that you will faint or experience hyperventilation.
Two of the primary consequences of hyperventilation are agitation and confusion. The reduction in blood flow in the brain can negatively affect the body’s functioning. Hence, it is important to quickly stop doing the practice once feeling dizzy at any point. The risks can be high, so it is vital to learn everything about Bhastrika Pranayama breathing for a better experience and results.
With all that said about Bhastrika Pranayama breathing, it is undeniable that it is one of the best breathwork methods to try since it comes with a lot of benefits. Definitely, it is amazing breathing that improves the meditation experience through clear unwanted and struggling thoughts. So, if you enjoy meditation and yoga and want to learn more about breathwork, this is the chance to be guided by the right person.
Regina is the right person you need to teach you how to perform breathwork right. Interested in experiencing breathwork with Regina? Regina offers two virtual breathwork sessions per month, which are easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Check out and join us for a session!