Practice of yogic breathing enhances the respiratory muscle efficiency and lung compliance by reducing the elastic and viscous resistance of lung during inspiration. It also stimulates the pulmonary stretch receptors by inflation of the lung, reflexively relaxes the smooth muscles of the larynx and tracheobronchial tree. Through yogic breathing one learns to consciously alter his or her breathing.
‘Pranayama‘ is a Sanskrit word, Prana and Ayama. Prana refers to all forms of energy in the universe. Breathing symbolizes life force, which is a part of Prana. ‘Ayama’ means development or control. Therefore Pranayama is the development and control of life force. Pranayama is considered to regulate breathing. Slow and deep breathing reduces the dead space ventilation, renews air throughout the lungs.
Bhastrika pranayama is one of the important type of pranayama. The Sanskrit word “Bhastrika” means “Bellows”. Thus, Bhastrika Pranayama is also known as the Bellows breathing, as air is drawn forcefully in and out of the lungs like the bellows of village blacksmith. Bhastrika practice strengthens the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, increases exchange of O2 and CO2 in the bloodstream, alleviates inflammation in the throat, reduces accumulation of phlegm and balances and strengthens the nervous system.
Steps to perform Bhastrika Pranayama
- Sit comfortably in the Padmasanaor Sukhasana pose with eyes closed.
- Take few deep breaths through both nostrils and fill the lungs with air and then exhale. You can hear a hissing sound while exhaling.
- Inhale deeply and exhale completely. Exhale is an excellent way to remove all the toxins you have accumulated from your body and inhalation helps to get fresh oxygen.
- Now, relax and repeat this procedure for 3-5 times.
Health Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama
- Improved blood circulation throughout the body
• Calmness and stillness of the mind
• Heightened focus and mental acuity
• Strengthened Lungs
• Is a cure for obesity, sinusitis, and arthritis
• Eliminates anxiety, panic attacks, and depression
• Cures infections in the throat
• Relieves migraines
• Cures neurological and gastric problems