Bhastrika (pronounced bah-STREE-kah) is a powerful technique. Progress with it slowly to make the foundation strong. The bellows breath brings heat to the body and is excellent for weight reduction. It clears energy, purifies the physical body, and opens up restrictions in the spine, permitting a freer energy flow.
1. Exhale deeply and sharply, feeling your diaphragm muscle (refer to our definition earlier in this chapter) pull your navel in.
2. Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose by continuing to force air out with sharp movements of your diaphragm. Don't worry about the inhale, which will take care of itself. Concentrate on the force of the exhalations.
3. Don't hold your breath between breaths. Aim for deep, quick movements of the diaphragm muscle. Remember, the inhalation will take little effort, especially as you practice this exercise and feel how the inhalation is a natural reflex following the exhalation.
4. Do 10 cycles, then hold your breath for a few seconds.
5. Repeat as many times as possible. If the strength of your exhalation begins to weaken, reduce the number of breaths in a cycle.
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