Yoga translates to union, wouldn’t we all like more of that? How can we unify our body and mind, our goals with our actions, our words with our heart.
Practice, Breath of Fire.
This intense breathing technique should be avoided if you are pregnant, struggle with vertigo, or have high blood pressure. It is wonderful for anyone in chronic pain, people trying to build their inner core strength, students needing to invigorate their minds and those of us with anxiety or depression.
Benefits of the Practice
Calming: Performing Breath of Fire regularly cleanses the lungs and diaphragm, expanding their potential. This in turn makes it possible for us to take deeper breaths.
Detoxing: It also gets the blood circulating through your body in a fast and effective manner, which is very helpful in removing toxins and buildup of other substances.
Pain Relieving: Improving circulation helps us get rid of unhealthy substances that can create stagnation and chronic pain in the body.
Strengthening: Breath of Fire exercises the muscles in the abdomen, and not just the outer “six pack” layer. We have multiple supporting core muscles that can support us in our daily lives. This breath practice creates strength to all of those layer as well as stamina.
How to Do It
It is important to remember that it takes time to build up to the full practice of Breath Of Fire. Beginners should start with a short amount of time and at a slightly slower rate.
- Sit up tall, lengthening the space between your navel and your heart.
- Breathe in and out through the nose and start to pull your low abdomen in during the exhale, and press it out during the inhale. Imagine your belly fills up with air during the inhale and use your abdominal muscles to push the air out during the exhale.
- Start to shorten each breath and pick up the pace. The breathing should be loud and quick.
- Try to equalize the inhale and the exhale in both strength and length.
Post-pranayama, always pause and take a few smooth deep breaths as you sit and listen for the immediate effects of the practice. After a while, you may do 2-3 sets of 30 seconds with a few smooth, long breaths in between. One day in the future, you will reach four minutes at a rate of four breaths per second.