Bellows Breath

Definition - What does Bellows Breath mean?

Bellows breath is a yogic breathing technique that involves rapid inhalations and exhalations to energize the body and clear the mind. It is so-called because it resembles a bellows blasting air onto coals of a fire.

To practice bellows breath, the yogi takes a comfortable seated position, such as lotus pose, with a straight spine and the eyes closed. He/she then forcefully inhales and exhales 10 times, followed by a 15- to 20-second break and then another round of bellows breaths.

Bellows breath is also known by its Sanskrit name, bhastrika pranayama.

Yogapedia explains Bellows Breath

Bellows breath is believed to promote mental and spiritual health. It is also believed to promote physical health in the following ways:

  • Strengthens the lungs
  • Calms and focuses the mind
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Improves digestion
  • Balances the nervous system
  • Boosts immunity
  • Clears the nasal passages
  • Relieves asthma and allergies
  • Improves appetite

Yogis with heart problems or high blood pressure should skip bellows breath. Although bellows breath can ease asthma symptoms, don't practice it if you have acute asthma. If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, stop bellows breathing and allow your breath to return to normal.

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