Bhastrika Pranayama {Breath Of Fire}-Steps And Benefits

pranayama stepsPosition: Meditation Posture (like Padmasana )
Focusing Chakra– On the Manipura Chakra.
Pronunciation:  bah-STREE-kah.

The word “Bhastrika Pranayama” comes from the Sanskrit word Bhastrika, which basically means breathing like a bellows (धौंकनी). Bellows is a device for producing a strong current of air which was used to fan the fire in Ancient days. In Bhastrika Pranayama our lungs are moved with movements that are very much similar to the bellows. Hence the Bhastrika Pranayama is called the ‘bellows breath’. Bhastrika (bellow-breathing) is a powerful and energetic Pranayama in yoga breathing exercises. In Ancient yogis, they called this breathing exercise as “the yoga breath of fire”. If you did Kapalbhati Pranayama, in this the importance is only on exhalation which is forced, short and quick. In Kapalbhati Pranayama, inhalation is passive and natural. During exhalation, we also force the belly in toward our spine in a brisk movement.

While in the Bhastrika Pranayama Inhalation and exhalation both are forced. The movement of the belly along with every breath is an optional variation. So Bhastrika Pranayama is all about inhaling and exhaling completely so that our body gets sufficient amount of oxygen.

There are two different techniques for Bhastrika Pranayama.  One is predicated on the classical approach given within the Hatha yoga Pradipika. The other is a modern and changed version of the technique and involves the movement of the arms and shoulders alongside the breath. Here we described the Bhastrika Pranayama according to “Hatha Pradipika”.

Related: Yoga Teacher Training in India

Steps of Bhastrika Pranayama

  • Sit on the Padmasana (Lotus Pose) with eye closed.
  • Take a deep breath in (inhale), filling the lungs with air.
  • After that gently breathe out.
  • In this inhaling and exhaling should take the same length of time-2.5 seconds to breathe in and 2.5 seconds to breathe out.
  • While you breathe in (inhale) assume that you are taking in positive energy and vibrations and that you are being energized by them.
  • During breathe out (exhale), imagine that you are taking out all the toxins from our body and find. (feel that during breathing out all the toxins comes out through your breath)

Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama

  • It gives strength to lungs.
  • Helps in allergies, Asthma, respiratory diseases, tonsil, and thyroid.
  • Gives calmness to the mind.
  • Brings the proper balance of three Dosha.
  • Purifies the blood and kicked out the foreign objects and toxins from the body.
  • Our heart and head get adequate quantity of fresh and pure air by which our health is improved.
  • Heats up our body.
  • Helpful in common cold.
  • It improves our immune system.
  • Bhastrika Pranayama is awesome breathing technique for respiratory-related Problems like Asthma.
  • Best for those who are facing the problem of Low blood pressure.  
  • Bhastrika pranayama is the best way of gaining enlightenment and tranquility.


People who are suffering from High blood pressure and acute heart problems should not try this breathing exercise. In the condition of High blood pressure also avoid Bhastrika Pranayama coz its produce the heat in your body. 

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Comments (22)

  • Dhruvesh jani Reply

    If blood pressure range is 140/86 than anybody can do bhastrika pranayam and anulom vilom pranayam????? Also if anyone has mild MVP in heart they can do the same????

    December 21, 2016 at 11:38 am
    • Arahan Singh Reply

      In Mild Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) Kapalbhati, Bhastrika and Anulom – vilom is beneficial. You Should try these Pranayam in MVP

      December 22, 2016 at 5:25 am
  • Yuvan Reply

    What kind of yoga is good for person suffering from heart palpitation.?

    February 24, 2017 at 7:13 pm
    • Swarnjeet Reply

      My heart used to beat at 130 BEATS PER MINUTES, even when I am resting.
      I did all pranaya and I am fit with in a year….

      August 28, 2017 at 2:04 am
      • Arahan Singh Reply

        @Swarnjeet, thnx for sharing your experience; we are happy that you are fit within a year it’s all your dedications, practice and believe in Yoga. May God bless you. Keep practicing.

        August 31, 2017 at 9:11 pm
  • Arahan Singh Reply

    @Yuvan You Should try these Rhythmic Exercises that Can Help Reduce Heart Palpitations. Cycling, Dancing, Rowing, Jogging, Power walking, Swimming alongwith do Anulom – Vilom, Nadi Shodhana, pranav and meditation. These are helpful for you.

    February 27, 2017 at 6:22 am
  • Dip Patel Reply

    Hi, I am sufferer of General Anxiety Disorder. When I do Bhastrika Pranayama – 20 times in 3 round, I suddenly feel very happy or overwhelm with other emotions, i.e. laughing or sometimes crying with tears coming out. I surely feel rejuvenated after this. But wants to confirm is it normal?

    April 18, 2017 at 6:02 am
    • Arahan Singh Reply

      @ Dip Patel it’s normal and when you practice any asana just concentrate on your breathing and feel that you are feeling happy, healthy and all your negativity is kicked out

      April 29, 2017 at 11:07 am
    • Arahan Singh Reply

      @ Dip Patel, ya it’s normal, when you practice this keep focusing on your strokes.

      April 29, 2017 at 11:09 am
    • Yogi Reply

      Happiness is the sign of right way

      June 22, 2017 at 4:54 am
  • KUSUMA Reply


    June 22, 2017 at 9:06 am
    • Arahan Singh Reply

      @Kusuma, Thnx for your Valuable comment. Pranayama for high blood pressure and low blood pressure.
      Yoga poses for high blood pressure and low blood pressure
      Balasana – Child pose
      Pawanmuktasana – wind removing pose.
      Marjarisana- Cat pose
      In healthy person the BP is 120 mm / 80 mm, that is systolic 120mm and diastolic is 80mm. lower blood pressure – below 90/60mm. High-normal blood pressure – between 120/80mm and 140/90mm.

      July 4, 2017 at 8:42 am
  • shil Reply

    I feel little discomfort while exhaling and cramp while breathing what should i do…
    Please reply

    July 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm
    • Arahan Reply

      Thanx @Shil, Do Anulom- vilom and Nadi shodhana regularly after few days start practicing Bhastrika pranayam. In earlier stage you feel some discomfort during exhaling, it’s normal. When you practice regularly it’s become normal.

      July 10, 2017 at 8:45 am
  • Vijay Reply

    I am suffering from anxiety and hyper acidity due to anxiety. kindly suggest yoga to overcome this problem.

    January 12, 2018 at 9:31 am
  • Arahan Singh Reply

    @ Vijay, For Anxiety Follow these Pranayama:
    1. Anulom – Vilom.
    2. Chandra Bhedana.
    3. Nadi Shodhana.
    4. Ujjayi.
    5. Bhramari, Udgeeth and Kapalbhati for acidity also perform Meditation and Savasana after Pranayama.

    Asana: –
    1. Surya Namaskar.
    2. Pawanmuktasana.
    3. Bhujangasana.
    4. Naukasana (Boat Pose).
    5. Vajrasana after taking meal.

    Drink luke warm water with Carrom seeds (Ajwain) early in the morning with empty stomach. This is best for acidity.

    Thank you & God bless you.

    February 2, 2018 at 8:05 am
  • D Singh Reply

    Is there any suggested sequence of doing Bhastrika, Anulom Vilom and Kapal Bharti etc?

    February 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm
    • Arahan Singh Reply

      Bhramari, Udgeeth, and Pranav pranayama these three Pranayama will be practiced in sequence wise one after the other without any interruption. Start your Pranayama Session with Bhastrika 5 minutes, then Kapalbhati 5 minutes after that follow Anulom Vilom for five minutes. Try to perform these breathing exercise in the morning and if you have ample time then do also in Evening also but morning time is the best.

      March 8, 2018 at 6:09 pm
  • Arti Reply

    Hello ,

    I ‘m a patient with chronic Anxiety disorder and depression. I tried Kapalbhati but I started feeling that , it’s worsening my condition . A friend of mine who have been doing pranayam since a long time told me to avoid kapalbhati without a proper instructor . Right now I’m practicing Anulom Vilom and based on the description above I think it’s Vashtrika which I’m doing right now . Can you please suggest me is there anything else I could do ?

    August 22, 2018 at 7:28 am
    • Arahan Singh Reply

      @Arti, Thanks for sharing your experience. Clearly, we advise you Avoid Kapalbhati coz its increases your Blood pressure thus Kapalbhati is good for Low blood pressure. It sad that you are facing the chronic issue of Anxiety disorder, depression.

      So Anulom Vilom, Nadi Shodhana, Bhramari, Udgeeth & Pranav is the best for you and practice regularly. Medication is the temporary solution and has many side effects. Along with Follow meditation, music therapy, Shavasana, Yog Nidra.
      In Asana Perform
      Surya Namaskar
      Be strong & Believe in Yoga. Definitely, You’ll get over from this and most important thing keep busy yourself. Do all the Yogic activities under the supervision of an expert Trainer
      May God Bless you.

      August 22, 2018 at 11:10 am
  • Keerthy Reply

    How many times I need to do? As I understand it is supposed to be done in set of three. In each set, how many times should I do?

    December 9, 2018 at 9:28 am
    • Arahan Singh Reply

      @Keerthy, good to see your comment, if you’re a beginner then perform this around 5 minutes day by day increase the time or increase the sets.
      May God Bless you

      December 17, 2018 at 12:44 am

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