My Experience with Bhastrika Pranayam

My Experience with Bhastrika Pranayama

I am presenting you a case study of bhastrika pranayama. Bhastrika Pranayam or Bhastrika breathing technique is one of the Pranayam mentioned in Patanjali’s Work.

I learned Bhastrika Pranayama from a yoga guru who are doing Yoga and Pranayama practice from last 35 years at Madhavpur Osho Ashram. I really feel myself fortunate that I learned bhastrika from him.

What is Bhastrika?: Based on What I learned and from yoga guru’s  teaching, It is fast paced inhale and exhale breathing technique, but in a harmonious way. I learned two variations in Bhastrika Pranayama.

Variation 1: little bit slow and for long time. Yoga Guru taught me below sequence of Bhastrika Pranayama,

  1. Sit in a comfortable posture. Arrange spinal cord in straight posture. Close your eyes.
  2. First, take a deep breath from the belly and exhale slowly.
  3. Now, Inhale for 3 seconds from the chest and belly (belly breathing) and Exhale for 2 second.
  4. In this case one bhastrika is for 5 seconds. In a minute, it counts at 12 cycles.
  5. Do it this for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Feel the vibration on face and heart area.
  7. Take normal deep breathe and relax.

My experience while doing above bhastrika.

  • I got deep vibrations on the face.
  • In heart area, I felt a bit of coolness.
  • I got vibrations in my both hands.
  • Different colours appeared in round shape at Agya chakra (Place between eyebrows).

How long I take Bhastrika Pranayama:

  • Every day I am spending  just 3 minutes in morning and 3 minutes in the evening time
  • I have been doing this Bhastrika Pranayama Technique from last 5 years.

Benefits of Bhastrika for above variation: From my own experience.

While doing the practice,

  • Due to rapid and deep breathing, more oxyzone comes at face and brain.
  • Feel of vibrations and energy on face and at forehead.
  • A cooling effect on chest and heart area.
  • Intense relaxation feeling after doing Bhastrika technique.

Variation 2: Fast paced, breathing from the chest.

I learned this technique from another yoga teacher who are doing yoga for last 15 years.

He taught me below sequence of Bhastrika Pranayama,

  1. Sit into comfortable posture. Spinal cord must be erect.
  2. Closing the eye.
  3. Put  both your  hands on the chest.
  4. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly.
  5. Start inhale and exhale rapidly from the chest.
  6. As much as rapid, In a minute it will be 24 to 36 cycles of Inhale with the exhale.
  7. Do this technique for 1 minute only.
  8. Take a deep breath again and do it for 1 another minute.
  9. Relax. Take a deep breath again.
  10. Relax again.

My experience while doing above variation 2 bhastrika breathing,

  • Fully exhausted experience, great and intense vibration on face, hand and chest area.
  • I felt more vibrations and energy  in variation 2.

Cautions in variation 2 of bhastrika pranayama

  • Those who have heart problem must avoid variation 2 of bhastrika.
  • If any illness related to respiratory then consult a doctor before doing this.  

The Benefits of doing variation 2 of bhastrika are, oxyzination in the body and rapid blood flow towards the brain and respiratory system, nervous system get kicked in this variation. it helps brain, heart and respiratory system.

Long term benefit of Bhastrika Pranayam: Time Span of 4 years.

I generally do variation 1 of bhastrika pranayama on day to day basis but sometimes I am also doing Variation 2 of bhastrika pranayama.

  • I successfully removed occasional depression condition and stress
  • It helps me in taking good decisions on day to day life.
  • I am more focused on the present time/moment , which is a condition of mindfulness.
  • Spiritual understanding boosted.
  • Concentration of mind and memory power increased.
  • Creative and constructive life event increases e.g. Reading more books, taking volunteering in social causes, helping others, etc.

Apart from this I also read lots on effect of Bhastrika Pranayama on brain and body and I did research and I put some of the excerpts here,

  • Slow breathing like 12 cycles in minute or 6 cycle in minute reduces the chemoreflex sensitivity.
  • Reducing chemoreflex sensitivity enable body to allow more carbon dioxide’s grasp ability.
  • Slow breathing like bhastrika variation 1 cause improves cardiovascular function.
  • Bhastrika breathing causes autonomic sympathetic alert and central nervous system (CNS) aroused on EEG (Ronald and dostalek, 1983).
  • SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) boosted and improve function of the Parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), these leads to stress, anxiety and flight or fight responses.
  • Chemoreceptor sensitivity decreases hence there will be significant improvements in heart related and blood pressure related disease.

I recommend Variation 1 of Bhastrika Pranayama for beginner level. Once a good practice will be carried out with this version or variation the one should try with variation 2 of Bhastrika Pranayama.

According to Patanjali Yoga Sutras, there are another variation of Bhastrika mentioned, but we limit ourselves with only 2 variation of that to this article.

I welcome feedback on this article. Do Bhastika Pranayam as per above instruction. Share your experience with Bhastrika Pranayama with me.

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