Techniques for Ballast breathing (Bhastrika)

‘Bhastrika’ literally means ‘bellows.’ It is performed by instant and quick expirations of breath. Just as a blacksmith blows his bellows, so also should you inhale and exhale.

It is almost the same as Kapalabhati except that it is done more slowly with fuller inspirations and expirations.



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  1. First assume sukhasana or any other comfortable sitting position.
  2. Close your mouth. Inhale and exhale deeply 20 times through the nostrils. Expand and contract your chest as you do so.
  3. A forcible hissing sound is produced when you practice this Pranayama.
  4. Start with such forcible expulsions of breath one following the other in rapid succession.

  5. After 20 such expulsions, take a deep inhalation then slowly exhale.
  6. This constitutes one round of Bhastrika.
  7. Start with 5 expulsions for a round and gradually increase to 10 or 15.
  8. Do 3 rounds at first and after some practice increase to 5 and 10 rounds.

Bhastrika cures throat inflammations, augments gastric fire, eliminates phlegm and other respiratory tract diseases, like sinusitis, asthma, consumption and others that crop up as a result of excess of wind, bile and phlegm. It also warms up the body a good deal.

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