Bhastrika Pranayama is a conscious breathing exercise with a handful of great health benefits like weight loss and clearing the mind.
In Sanskrit, the word Bhastrika means “bellows”. Think of the air bag device with two handles that is used to blow large amounts of air onto a fire. When more oxygen is introduced to a fire it causes a faster combustion rate to occur, while producing more energy in the form of heat.
When you practise Bhastrika Pranayama, your abdomen is acting just like a bellows in the sense that it is pumping more air (mostly the oxygen our body needs) inn to our internal fire. It makes our body produce more energy.
How Does Bhastrika Pranayama Promote Weight Loss?
In essence, when we add more oxygen from the air we breathe to our internal “fire”, we spark a faster “combustion rate” within the body, which translates to a faster metabolism. A byproduct of the higher combustion rate within the body is more heat, or more energy, that is released by the body. It burns calories (Kekan, 2013; Kekan & Kashalikar, 2013).
What’s more, Bhastrika Pranayama oxygenates our organs and blood stream. This is especially beneficial for the brain, and improves cognitive functioning while bringing more energy and clarity to the mind.
These Bhastrika Pranayama breathing exercises are very helpful if your mind is feeling a little “cloudy”, or if there seems to be some sort of confusion occurring in the mind. This breathwork technique helps to purify the mind of excess clutter.
How To Do Bhastrika Pranayama
Do this exercise first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.
- Sit comfortably with your back straight in an upright position.
- inhale fully through yours nostrils and then exhale forcefully from your nostrils.
- Use your abdominal muscles to push the air in and out of your lungs - like a bellows.
- Keep repeating this continuously for around 20-30 reps. You can use mala beads or fingers to count.
You may feel heat in your body and a tingly sensation. This is a sign of energy building up inside.
If you are looking to boost your metabolism, lose some weight, or you just want a clearer mind, give Bhastrika Pranayama a try every morning for a few weeks and see what differences you notice!