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Bhastrika is name of the Pranayama which imitates the action of Bhastra – the bellows. It aims at increasing gut temperature heating the physical and subtle bodies.

In Bhastrika Pranayama, inhalation and exhalation are equal and are the result of systematic and equal lung movements. The breath has to be sucked in and pushed out forcibly.

Bhastrika should not be done too forcefully that nostrils may get sucked in with inhalation. The sound produced by inhalation and exhalation should not be a heavy sound and should come from the nose, not throat.

The correct sitting position for Bhastrika is Padmasana or Ardha Padmasana. Siddhasana is also a good alternative. In these Asanas body is firmly locked, physical movement is restricted and spine remains straight. Nervous impulses are then able to travel directly up through the C.N.S.

Precautions: A feeling of faintness, excessive perspiration or vomiting sensation indicates that the practice is being performed incorrectly. Avoid violent respiration, facial tension and excessive shaking of the body.

Contra-indications: Bhastrika should not be practiced by people who suffer from High B.P., Heart Disease, Hernia, Ulcer, Stroke, Epilepsy or Vertigo.

Benefits: This practice burns up toxins and remove diseases of Doshas (vata, pitta, kapha). With rapid exchange of air in lungs, it increases O 2 (Oxygen) in blood stream and reduces CO 2 (Carbon dioxide). This Pranayama stimulates metabolic rate, produces heat and flushes out waste and toxins from digestive system. It is an excellent practice in asthma and for those who are suffering from lungs’ diseases. This practice strengthens the nervous system too.

Submitted by:
Vinay Sharma
Yoga Therapist
Yoga & Naturopathy Department