ASHTANGA VINYASA YOGA, VINYASA KRAMA and the Sri T. Krishnamacharya Tradition -BLOGpost 8 - Excursion on fast Pranayamas - Bastri and Kapalabhati

Blogpost 8

“drop-in” on BASTRI and KAPALABHATI


Refering to the blogpost of Anthony Grimmly @reemergenceofyoga – Day 39 –

I was searching on some notes about Bastri – and how it is related to Nadi Shodhana.

Actually there are not many notes - as during the 8 years, when I attended seminars with Sri Sribhashym in Heidelberg, we never did any Kapalabhati or Bastri. Only in wells in 2016he spoke about these "fast Pranayamas", which - in the sessions in his book are mostly there before the "older" Pranayamas.


I found the following excerpt from scripts from the seminar in Wells, July 2016 - 

Here Sri Sribhashyam explains which groups of Pranayamas  fit together and why.



Kapalabhati is a fast Pranayama, which refersspecially to our fast lifes and thinking.

So far it is a Pranayama which was abviously invented/seen and given in the nearer past by a master -

to meet the specific needs of man. 
It is given for  a  "fast means to detoxify man" - t
his is explained in Sri Srbhashyams book "Emergence of Yoga" - "Mans nervous system (nowadays) suffers the direct effects of (mental, emotional) poisoning  -
.... Bastri was introduced to calm the hyperactivity of nervous impulses..."  (on page 36).


In the seminar Sri Sribhashyam explained that

*  The fast breaths have a special function!

*  They are said to reduce the poisons who distract you

*  In general – they purify the mind from impurities

*  They help the soul to leave through Sirsa!



Yet - Bastri and Kapalabhati are not immensely important.



> it works on your nervous system! (> the mind is controlled  by your own nerves)

> “that which reduces emotional accesses or poisons!!


> you can do as much as you want!  
> Can be done even  independent of any Pranayama!!

> it comes before Nadi Shodhana 


There are  different types / groups of PRANAYAMAS:








2) NADI SHODHANAs   (here, every concentration has another name)


Then we have 2 PRANAYAMAs with fast breath (they are done in the same position a as the Pranayama):




KAPALABHATI is always linked with an UJJAYI PRANAYAMA     

BASTRI is always linked with  NADI SODHANA (after Bastri you can also do SITALI)                           


Bastri cleans and brings the nervous system completely in balance. It may work on a more subtle level as Kapalabhati - yet Kapalabhati works on the central nervous system.

With Bastri our nerves are completely cleaned and it’s a very subtle preparation for Nadi Shodhana.
As also Nadi Sodhana works more on a subtle level as the Ujjayi Pranayamas - (there may be an other block on fruits of Pranayamas) -
Nadi Sodhana  cleans and restores the nervous system -  
visible and unvisible  and awakens the spiritual level.


I feel we may  experience this by practice - the subtleness and emptiness which is followed by Bastri - is almost -  as it shifts you to an other level beyond the gross and material - to enter to deeper levels.

Hope these notes help to understand - 
namaste Andrea