Bhastrika Pranayama (The Yogic Breath of Fire) Steps, Benefits And Precautions
Bhastrika Pranayama, also known as the “Yogic Breath Of Fire”, is a kind of breathing technique for maintaining the body. It helps to generate heat in your body, especially benefiting those who have kapha dosha in their body.
Bhastrika pranayama seems similar to Kapalbhati but it is slightly different. Bhastrika is inclined to forced inhalation and exhalation while Kapalbhati mimics sneezing. It engages lungs while deep inhalation and exhalation; whereas, Kapalbhati has great involvement of stomach.
This pranayama is the first step in the package of 7 pranayamas which must be followed by Kapalbhati. Since it is known to generate heat in the body, it is very beneficial during the colder months of the year. If you suffer from depression and low BP, you should practice Bhastrika pranayama to regulate your body temperature.
Steps To Be Followed While Practicing Bhastrika Pranayama
Bhastrika is a breathing technique undertaken to correct the imbalances of Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. Here are some steps that you should follow while executing the pose:
- Begin with sitting in Padmasana(Lotus Pose).
- Take a deep breath and pause. Now fill your lungs with air.
- Hold the air in the lungs for a few seconds, then release slowly.
- Then begin practicing the asana with forced breathing and mimicking the panting activity.
One must complete one round of Bhastrika pranayama that includes forced inhalation and exhalation for a continuous 21 times.
You are advised to practice Bhastrika for at least 3 months as this would help build your stamina when you gradually increase your count over the time.
Benefits That Bhastrika Offers
It offers certain benefits that make the pose worth trying including:
- Fights laziness of mind and body and helps in energizing the body and mind.
- Soothes the mind and helps fight depression and anxiety.
Good at treating fibrosis.
- Strengthens the immune system and maintains overall health of the body.
- Corrects bodily imbalances of Vata, Pitta and Cough dosha.
- Relieves insomnia and checks relate issues.
- Great exercise for lungs and respiratory system.
- Best for brain oxygenation.
- Continuous inhalation and exhalation flushes out the impurities and toxins from the blood.
- Good for heart health as it gets right amount of oxygen through the purified air which reaches arteries and veins of the heart.
- Lastly, it is a great remedy for calming the mind and getting rid of unwanted thoughts. This helps in gaining tranquility and peace of mind.
Bhastrika can have some negative inclinations, so you must follow certain precautions. If you are suffering from high blood pressure and acute heart problems, do not perform this pranayama.
Moreover, pregnant women should stay away from practicing this asana and one shouldn’t practice Bhastrika if undergoing a chronic problem of migraine attacks.
Other than this, you should do Bhastrika on an empty stomach and you must avoid it at night as this may affect the nervous system and may prove meddlesome in relaxing the body.