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The physical therapists at Maiden Lane Medical in Manhattan, NY often recommend bellows breathing, also called stimulating breath or Bhastrika, to boost energy levels, improve digestion and metabolism, and elevate your overall health and well-being.
Contact us today to learn more about bellows breath, pelvic floor physical therapy, and other effective ways to maintain your health.
Bellows breathing is one of the traditional yogic breathing techniques used to raise vital energy and mental clarity. This breathing practice stimulates the diaphragm, strengthening the lungs, increasing capacity, and clearing your airways.
Sometimes called stimulating breathing technique or a noisy breathing exercise, this practice involves taking rapid breaths through your nose.
Just about everyone can practice bellows breath and reap the benefits. People who have recently had abdominal surgery, are pregnant, or have high blood pressure, heart disease, or panic attacks should talk to their doctors before starting to practice this stimulating breath.
First, sit in a comfortable position, keeping your spine straight and your shoulders relaxed. Take a few deep breaths, filling your belly with air.
Keep your mouth closed and inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose. Your inhales and exhales should be the same length. You will need to practice bellows breath and gradually increase the length of time you can maintain the exercise for one minute.
Bellows breath provides many health benefits. For example, many people find that it gives them an energy boost that helps them cut back on or eliminate caffeine from their diets. Bellows breathing can also increase alertness and provide heightened awareness to help you focus.
This breathing exercise is also known to relieve stress and elevate oxygen levels in your body. As a result, you sleep better, and your skin may look and feel healthier.
Bellows breath can also improve digestive power and boost metabolism, helping some people to lose weight.
If you haven’t practiced this diaphragmatic breathing exercise before, we recommend starting with 10 breath cycles, taking a break to breathe regularly for a few breaths, and then repeating the practice two more times. A single breath cycle includes one inhalation and one exhalation. Don’t use bellows breath for more than 15 seconds on your first try.
You want to breathe from your diaphragm. Rest your hand on your upper abdomen, just below your ribs. You should feel your belly move in and out with your inhales and exhales.
Pay attention to how your body feels while practicing stimulating breath. It is a safe exercise, but you might feel light-headed as you get used to it.
If you feel dizzy or light-headed at all, pause for a few minutes and breath naturally. When you feel better, try again, but take slower, less intense breaths.
If you’re interested in stimulating breath exercises called the bellows breath and its health benefits, contact the team at Maiden Lane Medical in Manhattan, NY today. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.
Krishna Baumet, MD
Board Certified Family Medicine
90 Maiden Lane, Suite 300, New York, NY 10038
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