Energizing through the Breath with Bhastrika: Bellows breath

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Energizing through the Breath with Bhastrika: Bellows breath

bhastrika breathAs discussed a few weeks ago, there are many ways through asana to invite vigor and energy into a yoga practice, whether we decide to add heat/warm, or through cleansing and clearing space for new energy.

At Verapose we believe that all movements should be lead and guided by the breath, as the breath brings with it the deepest information from the body and from ourselves.

There are many varieties of breath that provide us with the opportunity to energize the body and the mind, and there are those that offer us the chance to cool and soothe the body.

Today we will explore Bhastrika Breath, also called Bellows Breath.

Bhastrika breath allows us to quickly open and close the rib cage, moving air swifty in and out of the body, expanding and contracting ribcage like fireplace bellows. In the opening and closing of the ribcage we have the ability to create heat and fire in the body, sparking energy within our practice.

Bhastrika is a beautiful practice to add to our asana practice on the mat, and can be used not only in a seated position, but in standing postures for extra heat and energy as well.

In addition, bellows breath is a great pick-me-up off the mat, while sitting in an office, or prior to heading out for yard work!

Bhastrika is beneficial in creating energy and increasing circulation in the body. It also assists with keeping the nasal passages clear.

Bellows breath is a practice that we should develop over time, as it can invite undue tension into the breath and the body if we overdo it.

Starting with a few breaths, and adding a few rounds at a time is a great way to build the practice.

Getting starting:

  • Find a comfortable place to sit or stand where the spine can be long.
  • Allow the hands to come into gentle fists, and come to rest near the shoulders.
  • On an inhale, straighten the arms overhead while keeping the shoulder blades grounded. (The inhale should be long and smooth)
  • On the exhale the breath will forcefully leave through the nostrils while the arms bend at the elbows, the hands returning to shoulder height.
  • Repeat for 3-5 breaths. Add a second round if you feel comfortable. As mentioned above, allow this breath to build over time.


Desikachar, T.K. The Heart of Yoga