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Breathing Exercise (Pranayama) - Bhastrika (Bellows)

Bhastrika (Bellows) is the most powerful of all Breathing Exercises for raising Kundalini Bhastrika. Bhastrika or Bellows consists a series of pumping followed by the retention of breath like Kapalabhati.

Warning in Performing the Bhastrika (Bellows)

You should exercise caution against the temptation of pushing too far in your initial practice of Bellows. If you have the tendency to push the limit, lie down when doing this exercise since there is a risk for you to lose consciousness and fall on the floor. Forced breathing makes you relaxed and revitalized. Excess in practice may induce dizziness, drowsiness and loss of consciousness. No harm can come from hyperventilation as long as you are in bed. If you happen to lose consciousness, your breathing pattern will tend to rectify itself and return to normal. Excessive ventilation results to lightheartedness, giddiness or a feeling that you are floating in the air.

Bhastrika (Bellows)

Bhastrika Bhastrika is primarily consists of forced rapid deep breathing which serves as a basis for many varieties of exercises, all of which may be described by the same name. Although air is forced both in and out, the emphasis is placed upon the expulsion or explosion of air. A series of such expulsions, each following the other in quick succession without either Full or Empty Pause, is called "A Round". Beginners should limit a round to about five explosions, though the number may be increased to ten, or even more if needed to obtain the desired effect. The desired effects range from increased ventilation, increased Blood Circulation, clearing of the Nasal Passages and increased thinking capacity to eliminating of all Mental Disturbances. Please be warned against generating such powerful explosions since it can cause injuries to lung tissues. Extending a series for so long can also cause dizziness. Comfort and not reckless excess should guide your motives and manner of doing the Bhastrika or Bellows.

Although you can breathe through your mouth or both mouth and nose, regular breathing is limited to either both or one nostril. The breath-stroke in the rapid succession of breaths may or may not be very deep, but it is customary to finish or follow a round by the deepest possible inhalation and exhalation. A series of normal breaths should occur before undertaking a second round. A deepest possible inhalation and exhalation may, and perhaps should, introduce each round. Some nasal hissing can be expected but avoid unpleasant sound and fluttering of the nasal skin surfaces. You may perform the Bhastrika exercise while standing but it is advisable to do it in a Seated Position in order to allow maximum Relaxation of the abdominal muscles and easy diaphragmatic breathing. Variations include using a full pause after each round, partial glottis closures and Alternation of Nostrils.

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