According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Today’s featured pranayama is a stimulating breath. When done correctly its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.
Bhastrika Pranayam: Bellows Breath
- Breathe in deeply through your nostrils. First, feel the diaphragm move down, allowing the lungs to expand and forcing the abdomen out; then feel your chest expand with your collar bones rising last.
- Breath out quickly through your nostrils. Feel the collar bones dropping, chest deflating, and abdomen shrinking as the lungs collapse. This process of exhaling should be much faster than the process of inhaling — almost like a rapid deflation.
- Repeat the process. When correctly done, your chest will expand when you breathe in and deflate when you breathe out. Continue doing this for 5 minutes.
With practice, speed up your breathing. Beginners should always start slowly to avoid hyperventilating, but over time, it will be possible to turn this into a rapid breathing technique.
So the next time you feel like reaching for another a cup of coffee give this breathing technique a try and after a few short minutes you’ll feel invigorated.