If you live in an area that is cold and snowy in the winter, the advent of spring is one of joy and resplendent beauty. The increasing light and warmth of this time of year naturally helps to increase the life force energy, both within us and surrounding us. In the same way, increasing the fire, pace and energy of your Yoga classes will invigorate your students from head to toe. A flowing, moderate to challenging sequence of Yoga asanas, in addition to pranayama exercises, will quickly and easily increase your students’ pranic energy.
One of the most effective Yogic breathing exercises for increasing life force energy is Bhastrika Pranayama. In this breathing practice, equal force is applied during the inhalation and exhalation. Each inhale and exhale should be full and deep; the pacing of the breath can be determined by each student. If a Yoga student has high blood pressure or a heart condition, Bhastrika Pranayama is not recommended. A daily practice of Bhastrika Pranayama, for five to ten minutes prior to asana practice or meditation, will help to calm and soothe the mind as it invigorates the body.
This Yogic breathing practice also purifies the blood, increases the circulation of fresh oxygen throughout the body, combats depression and even boosts the immune system. In addition, it quite naturally increases the circulation of energy and prana throughout the entire body. Bhastrika Pranayama is also known as Bellows Breath because it replicates the movement of an old-fashioned bellows that was used to start a fire. Sharing this image with your class will help your Yoga students to understand the fullness and regular pacing of each inhale and exhale during this pranayama practice.
* Bhastrika Pranayama
To begin teaching your Yoga students Bhastrika Pranayama, ask them sit in an easy, crossed-legged position on their mats. If some of your students have tight hips, they may want to place a folded blanket underneath them for additional support. Begin by demonstrating three to five Bhastrika Pranayams to your Yoga class. Each inhale should fill the chest cavity completely, and each exhale should empty the lungs completely. By slightly closing the back of the throat and apply moderate force to each inhale and exhale, their inner fire or agni will grow much stronger in only a few minutes time. Practice Bhastrika Pranayama for three to five minutes with your students before proceeding to the asana or meditation part of your Yoga class.
© Copyright 2013 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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