Bastrika (Bellow’s breath) – inhale and exhale quickly and forcefully without straining by flapping the abdomen. This should be practiced for up to 100 breaths.
Kapalabhati (Breath of fire / shining skull) – Sitting with back and neck erect, one should inhale through both nostrils and exhale rapidly by flapping the abdomen during each exhalation at a pace of 60–120 breaths/min.
Bhramari (Female honeybee humming breath) – After a full inhalation, closing the ears using the index fingers, one should exhale making a soft humming sound similar to that of a female honeybee.
The following areas were positively impacted by a pranayama practice:
neurocognitive- brain function
psychophysiological- physical symptoms induced by emotional factors
respiratory – breathing
metabolic / biochemical – conversion of food to energy, building blocks and waste elimination
An example of how neurocognitive changes can occur would be to wear an EEG during a 15 minute breath exercise. The muse brainwave monitor would be a good device to wear while practicing kapalabhati breathing. What you might see / experience if you are able to reproduce the study results is the following:
First 5 minutes of 15 minute practice showed an increase in Alpha waves. These brainwaves are associated with concentration.
Later stages of 15 min exercise showed increase in Theta waves. These brainwaves are associated with creativity.
Another breathing exercise Bhramari (honeybee) has been shown to increase gamma waves. These could also be monitored on the muse and are normally quite difficult to produce without years of meditation training. The practice would need to be done for 10 minutes. Bhramari breathing helped participants tune out irrelevant stimulation during cognition tests and decreases reaction time.
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