Breath of Fire

Bhastrika Pranayama


Bhastrika means bellows breath or the breath of fire. For this changing season, practice Bhastrika every day to help minimize spring’s kapha-aggravating potential while supporting the elimination of any accumulated excess during the winter. It is a great pranayama practice for kapha and vata; but in excess, it can aggravate pitta, so it should only be done in moderation for pitta conditions.

Practicing bhastrika cleanses mucus from the chest and sinuses, kindles gastric fire, improves circulation, brings vigor, vitality, and proper elimination. It improves the tone of the bronchial and heart muscles as well as the diaphragm, and helps to prevent heart and lung diseases. Its a very easy practice and can be incorperated in to your daily life no matter where you are. To practice bhastrika follow the below instructions:

  • Sit cross-legged, keeping the right hand on the right knee, the left hand on the left knee and the spine straight.

  • Do a slight chin lock, contact the anus, and begin to do bellows breathing, which means inhaling and exhaling forcibly. This involves a rapid and forceful inhalation and exhalation powered by the movement of the diaphragm. The movement of air is accompanied by an audible sound.

  • You can do 30 constant, forceful bellows breaths and then rest.

  • When the required number of expulsions, say 30 for a round is finished, the final expulsion is followed by a deepest possible inhalation. The breath is suspended as long as it feels comfortable; then, a deep exhalation is done very slowly.

  • The end of this deep exhalation completes one round of Bhastrika. You may start with one or two rounds (30 each) and work yourself up to do more breathings each round.

Contraindications include pregnancy, high blood pressure, glaucoma, hydrocele, hernia, ascites and recent history of heart attack.



The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.