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Breath-The Human Condition Rx | The Benefits of Breathwork In-Depth

Updated: Feb 13


Benefits of breathwork


In the bustling cadence of daily life, we often overlook the simplest yet most powerful tool we possess—our breath. This life force within us serves as a bridge between our human and spirit, and mastering its rhythm can unlock a state of profound inner calm, harmony, and even spiritual growth. I recently released a podcast meditation episode AND a YouTube tutorial that introduces a breath practice called "Bhastrika".


Bhastrika is a seriously powerful yogic breathing technique that assists with shifting into meditation due to its ability to heighten sensory perception, making it easier for the meditator to experience and feel the subtle sensations of the breath to ease the mind and enter into a meditative state.


Bhastrika pranayama, an ancient form of breath control, offers a multitude of benefits due to its cleansing and stimulating nature (below is a full list of benefits for this particular breathwork technique, so keep reading). In regards to all forms of breath work, learning to manipulate the breath provides access to the wellspring of tranquility that lies within the quiet moments of our existence, in between each pause of breath we are hanging out on that bridge between Earth's realm and Spirit realm, it's such a beautiful experience. My recent meditation episode walks you through this practice, teaching you how to sync your inhalations and exhalations with the natural yet subtle movements of your body. Teaches you how to notice.

Through a detailed step-by-step process, this practice guides you into becoming hyper-aware of the breath and finding comfort in the gentle ebb and flow of each inhale and exhale. I use of a metronome in the background to serve as a rhythmic anchor, assisting you in maintaining a steady pace throughout the meditation. This way the mind is not involved, there is no thinking or counting which sometimes is disruptive of the breath or meditation practice itself. Instead, it is simply a rhythm, rhythm is the language of your breath!



Beyond the cushion:

The benefits of breathwork go beyond the meditation cushion. By incorporating this practice into your daily routine, you can experience a shift in your response to life's stresses, finding calm and clarity in situations that once seemed overwhelming. This practice episode emphasizes the importance of breath awareness and the sanctity of the pauses between breaths, moments that offer a gateway to inner stillness and peace.


You are guided to stay present, keeping the breath's flow smooth and unbroken, a metaphor for life's challenges. This style of focus on breath serves as a reminder that we can navigate the complexities of life with grace and ease, using our breath as a tool for self-regulation and emotional balance. This is what I mean when you hear me say "off the cushion" or "off the mat", it means embodying the practices and practicing in each moment throughout the day when you are aware enough to.


When it comes to the sensory awakening that this practice offers, you eventually become more attuned to your breath and you may notice an enhanced perception of your surroundings, a sharpening of the senses that allows you to experience the world more vividly and vibrantly. This sensory awakening is not just a fleeting moment but a lasting transformation that spills over into your day-to-day life experience.


This meditation episode is an invitation to explore the depths of your being through the simple yet profound act of breathing, only 30 minutes of your time is needed. By engaging with the practice of Bhastrika and pelvic deep breathing, you have the opportunity to open up a space of calm From Within, regardless of the external chaos. This meditation practice serves as a gentle reminder that serenity is always accessible, just a breath away.


If you are NEW, however, to the Bhastrika breath technique, I encourage you to first watch my YouTube tutorial on HOW to perform this practice. If performed improperly there can be negative effects, hypoventilation being the first and most immediate one, so please follow my advice, and if you don't follow my advice and pass out please don't reach out 🫠.


Ok with that part out of the way, I suggest watching this short 5-minute Bhastrika how-to and then head over to the podcast meditation episode for a full practice! That's a total of 35 minutes out of your day. You got it!














Keep reading for more in-depth knowledge on Bhastrika pranayama!


 

Bhastrika

Level 1 For Beginners

Benefits of Bhastrika Breathwork:

  • Quickly awakens Kundalini 

  • Breaks up the three psychic knots (keep reading as I go in depth about these knots)

  • Stimulates circulation of cerebral fluid

  • Stimulates heart and blood circulation

  • Eliminates excess waste gases in the body 

  • Clears excess mucus, nasal passages, and sinus

  • Cleansing and heating which builds resistance to colds and respiratory disorders (can manage chronic sinusitis, pleurisy, asthma, and bronchitis)

  • Increases appetite in a sluggish system, increases metabolic rate

  • Strengthens the nervous system, regulating

  • Aids with sciatica, arthritis, rheumatic issues, spondylitis, physical and mental tension


🕜When To Use:

  • To counter fatigue

  • As preparation for meditation or other pranayama 

  • In the mornings to clear mucus and awaken the body, a must in certain seasons, a must for Kapha Dosha types


⚠️Do not perform:

  • If you have or are experiencing high blood pressure, heart disease, brain tumor, vertigo, stomach or intestinal ulcers, glaucoma, dysentery, or diarrhea. 


If dizziness is experienced during practice it means it’s being performed incorrectly. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for guided 1:1 assistance. Make sure your inhales and exhales are EQUAL and you are completely exhaling the breath out before the next inhale. If this does not remedy the dizziness or hypoventilation please reach out


Bhastrika should always be performed in a relaxed manner with total awareness and without mind wandering. 


In certain yogic texts, it is said that after the practice of Bhastrika, you should listen “with the right ear to welcome internally aroused sounds of crickets, fluttering, thunder cymbals, a black bee, bell, gong, trumpet, drum" (Hatha Yoga Pradapika quoting the Hatharatnavali).


More On Bhastrika (for those on spiritual paths):

The most important physiological effect of Bhastrika is on the brain and heart. It is a vitalizing pranayama practice that creates a rhythmic massaging effect on the brain and organs of the whole body system. It provides a cleansing of the nerves (nadis) and organs by heating the mind and the heart. This heat is the catalyst for the cleansing of internal organs, toxins, wastes, and mental debris. 


As a result of this cleansing, pranic movement begins to flow since no longer obstructed by wastes, toxins, and energetic blockages. So it's not that your prana is not there, it's blocked. This clearing of the nadis (its form would be the nerves) is what provides a clear pathway for the rising of Kundalini as she is awakened due to the build-up of heat in her region of the body and the movement of the rhythmic massaging caused by the pranayama, the push and pull of certain regions in the belly (especially during retention). 


It is Sushumna Nadi in which Kundalini rises, located within the spine, and where the center of the psychic centers (the Chakras) reside. Along this pathway are three psychic or pranic knots, which must be broken for Kundalini to complete her ascent. These three psychic knots act as obstacles on the path toward higher consciousness, blocking the rising of Kundalini which is what brings us into the next level of awakening. These knots represent illusion, ignorance, and attachment. Recognizing them and how they affect our worldly interaction is an important step in evolution and personal transformation


Through the practice of Bhastrika, the mind-body system becomes less influential in motivating one’s behavior and worldly “needs”. The nervous system becomes regulated and stronger (minimizing living in survival mode which is one of the energetic knots described in detail below), the emotions become more balanced and harmonized and one begins to experience deep internal satisfaction that seems to have no connection to outside world happenings. This is because the first two knots are beginning to untangle.


Once spiritual experiences begin in your practice, Bhastrika helps you to remain silent, and uninvolved as the observer, not attached to any of the experiences. This is when the third knot begins to unfold and this attitude of the witness, the observer, begins to mature and develop within you. 


Loosening the three knots (raising Kundalini) is no easy feat, and comes with many physical, emotional, and mental barriers. Most will struggle to control sensual desires (regulate and control, not suppress or refrain) and to live without emotional security and some sense of “fulfillment”. But it does happen for those who organically find the path and decide it is the best path for this incarnation and desired experience here AND thereafter.


As for psychic attachment, many who have them often end up in institutions and facilities that have diagnosed them because they did not have a guide during their spiritual awakening or came here having a spiritual experience and again, no understanding, no guide during the earliest stages of life.


So although Bhastrika is a practice prescribed to help loosen these three pranic knots, it alone is not enough nor will doing hours of Bhastrika guarantee you success.


Remember, the real benefit of Yoga and its practices comes from following the science, philosophy, and lifestyle. It’s not about just doing certain practices here and there. That surely is beneficial on a physical plane, to cultivate and maintain good health, but there is more…..which is usually sought after by spiritual aspirants.


What we do at the virtual studio is for both, and that is why there are multiple membership options. Click the hyperlink to check that out!


More On The 3 Psychic Knots:

One knot is found at the root chakra, Mooladhara, and is called Brahma Granthi, it represents attachment to sensual perception (physical pleasures) and the physical/material world which is experienced through the senses. This means attachment to materials, instant gratification, the pursuit of material happiness, greed, selfishness, scarcity mindset, etc. 


Another knot is located in Anahata Chakra, the heart chakra, and is called Vishnu Granthi. This knot represents the desire for emotional security (also identified in Maslow’s Hierarchy which is a modern Western representation of the Chakras), emotional attachment, attachment to inner psychic visions, intense attachment to your passion/ambition, assertiveness, attachment to the need for expression and fulfillment. 


The third knot is located in Ajna Chakra, the third eye, and is called Rudra Granthi. It is defined as an attachment to the Siddhis (psychic powers associated with the rise of Kundalini and expanded consciousness such as psychic visions, phenomena, and experiences), attachment to or strong sense of individuality/ego (hint for untangling: we are one, phrases like “namaste”, follow the yogic limbs). 


‼️Please understand, that breath work alone is not what will bring success in raising Kundalini but is a practice that aids tremendously paired with other practices and ways of living. These ancient practices are from an original yogic text that describes the path of Hatha Tantra Yoga for the spiritual aspirant and includes instruction for all practices, lifestyle changes, ways of eating, cleansing techniques, advanced mudras, and more for success. 


Now, it's ok if this is a lot of info to process, it really all ties in together and the main point here is that:

  1. Breath is your most powerful tool, and practicing breath work and breathing techniques offers a plethora of physical benefits, regulating the nervous system with a side effect of positive and healing psycho-spiritual benefits.

  2. Breath work itself is a form of meditation, that assists with and deepens the practice of meditation when combined, and meditation enriches your life!

  3. Breathwork is used by aspirants and yogis for spiritual advancement and karmic untangling.

  4. You should start practicing breath work and meditation, and you can start by visiting the meditation playlist on my YouTube channel to learn techniques, listening to meditation episodes uploaded on the podcast to practice meditation with yogic breath techniques, and joining the virtual studio to solidify your practice with consistency and "off the cushion" guidance!


See ya'll on the other side!🛸

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