We know that changing season has most of us falling sick and for many of us, the arrival of autumn means it’s time to stock up on anti cold tablets and cough drops. Along with seasonal allergies, autumn means colder weather that can bring with it colds and flu. It’s difficult to avoid contact with viruses this particular time of the year. Rather than tense up and wish our neighbors had stayed home with their symptoms for the day, we remind ourselves that we cannot control the actions of others. We can, however, choose to take actions that boost our own immunity so that we are less susceptible. So yoga can help by strengthening and balancing our immune system. Yoga postures, pranayama, and meditation are powerful tools for helping to stimulate or calm the immune response depending on the situation. Bhastrika pranayama is the easiest technique to strengthen the immune system. Bhastrika means bellows. A bellows is a device for forcing air in a concentrated way usually to help a fire burn. It helps to throw out toxins and cures illnesses of respiratory track. It also increases warmth in the body and helps to prevent common cold.
Follow the steps to learn Bhastrika pranayama. Be seated in any comfortable posture like Padmasana, Siddhasana or Sukhasana. Place your hands on your knees. Feel relaxed. Focus on your breathing pattern and be relaxed. Breathe in by inhaling forcefully through both the nostrils. Make sure that your lungs are full with air. Once you inhale fully, exhale with great force making hissing sound. In Bhastrika pranayama one needs to apply force while breathing in and breathing out. You can determine how much speed to apply while inhaling and exhaling keeping in mind your heath and endurance power. When you breathe in while performing Bhastrika pranayama, your abdominal should not blow up. Instead your chest area should blow up. Repeat the procedure for 5 to 10 times. It should be practiced 2-minuts minimum and 5-minuts maximum everyday. If one should feel tired during practice, must stop immediately and resume after some relax. Those who have high blood pressure or heart disease should not practice Bhastrika pranayama. This is the best breathing exercise for lungs. It makes the lungs healthy and improves strength. It directly affects all respiratory system of body and cures all lungs related problems. Incase both the nostrils do not open because of ailments like severe cough or sinus etc; the practitioner should first close the right nostril and do respiration (exhalation and inhalation) through the left nostril. Then the left nostril should be closed and respiration should be done by the right nostril. This method of alternate breathing should be continued at the desired speed viz. slow, moderate or fast, till both the nostrils open simultaneously.