Feeling the Bhastrika

Teacher Adriel taught us how to do bhastrika and it marked the first time that I really felt an energy traveling around my body after doing it. It was really amazing to feel this energy just moving around inside me, albeit only briefly. It was the first time I had ever felt anything like it and out of the haze of worrying about work and the yoga TTC assessments, I experienced a brief moment of clarity. If you have ever felt like you’re living in a cloud, well, you’d know how you’d much appreciate that.

So here’s more about it. Bhastrika which means bellows breath(like a blacksmiths bellows, huffing and puffing forcefully) is a pranayama technique. It involves the forceful inhalation as well as exhalation. So this is the difference compared to kapalabhati, which involves a passive inhalation but with a forceful exhalation.

Due to the forcefulness of the breath, there are some groups of people who should only do the gentler version of the pranayama(to do less breaths per minute so that the speed is lower) or not at all. This group includes those who are pregnant, have uncontrolled hypertension(high blood pressure), heart problems, epilepsy, seizures, or panic disorder, heart problems. BKS Iyengar actually said that women should take caution when doing this it can prolapse the uterus(only if u have super strong ab muscles) and contribute to saggy boobs! So wear a good sports bra ladies!

Anyway, the stomach should also be empty so, wait at least two hours after eating. However the best way to do this is to take 5 minutes in the morning before any breakfast. It will energize you and get you fired up for the day!

The brief instructions are, get into a comfortable seated position. Take a few slow, deep inhalations and exhalations. And when you’re ready, take one full inhalation and forcefully exhale through the nose and then cycles of forceful inhales and exhales. While doing this, the length of the inhale and exhale should be the same, you should be aiming to pull your pelvic floor up and down with each breath, your belly may have the most movement, while your shoulders, head and neck should be still. There are a couple of different variations to bhastrika, so have a try and see which one energizes you the most .

Aini Az
200hr TTC (weekend)