Rapid succession of forcible expulsions is a characteristic feature of this exercise. ‘Bhastrika’ means ‘bellows’ in Sanskrit. Just as a blacksmith blows his bellows rapidly, so also you should inhale and exhale rapidly. Sit in your favourite Asana. Close the mouth. Inhale and exhale quickly 20 times like the bellows. Constantly dilate and contract the chest as you inhale and exhale. When you practise the Pranayama a hissing sound is produced. You should start with forcible expulsions of breath following one another in rapid succession. After 20 such expulsions, make a deep inhalation and retain the breath as long as you can comfortably do and then slowly exhale. This is one round of Bhastrika.
Begin with 10 expulsions for a round and increase it gradually to 20 or 25 for a round. The period of Kumbhaka also should be gradually and cautiously increased. Rest a while after one round is over and again begin the next round. Do 3 rounds in the beginning and after due practice, do 20 rounds in the morning and 20 in the evening.
Advanced students do this Pranayama after partial closing of the glottis. They do not make a powerful noise like the beginners. They can do it even in a standing posture.
Bhastrika removes inflammation of the throat, increases the gastric fire, destroys phlegm and all diseases of the nose and lungs, eradicates Asthma, consumption and other diseases which arise from the excess of wind, bile and phlegm. It gives warmth to the body. It is the most effective of all Pranayama exercises. It enables Prana to break through the three Granthis. All the other benefits of Sukha Purvaka Pranayama are obtained in this exercise also.
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Yoga Breathing - Breath Control
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