In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means 'Bellows'. This exercise is characterized by continual exhalation of breath, producing a sound similar to a blacksmith's bellows.
In fact, it is nothing more than a combination of Kapalbhati and Ujjyi. It brings with Kapalbhati, ends with Ujjyi, includes holding of breath.
One sits cross-legged or in lotus position. Air is expelled in quick successive jerks through the nose. After a certain number of such exhalation (according to the individual's capacity), a deep breath is taken half closing the glottis. The air is then held by closing the glottis completely. The nostril should also be blocked with the thumb, ring hand while the hand is lowered and the chin firmly buried in the hollow above the sternum (Jalandharbandh or chin-lock). The air is then expelled with the glottis half-open. The rhythm is 1:2:2, making one complete Bhastrika exercise.
One should start by performing it twice, then gradually increase the number of times as indicated by the Yoga instructor.
Variation: The second part of this exercise may also be done without half-closing the glottis.
This type of Pranayama must be performed with great care; one should stop at slightest sign of fatigue, for the body will become exhausted vary quickly if the exercise is overdone. those with a fragile constitution suffering from high or low blood pressure should not attempt this kind of exercise.
This Pranayama spreads warmth all over the body and has a purifying effect. It regenerates the liver, spleen, pancreas and fortifies the abdominal muscles. the digestion inproves and one experiences a general feeling of well-being.