Ever feel lethargic, distracted, sleepy and like you could do with shot of energy? Well before you reach for a cup of coffee or a sugar hit, take 3 minutes out to experience this breathing technique used in Kundalini Yoga.
It’s called breath of fire and it’s an incredibly powerful, very energizing, and physically warming breath. It’s a rhythmic breath done by pumping the navel point in towards the spine on the exhale and releasing the navel point on the inhale. Here’s 5 good reasons to practise 3 to 15 minutes of this pranayama regularly:
- Strengthens the immune system as the dynamic breath oxygenates the blood, begins to clear the lungs and purify the blood.
- Stimulates the solar plexus to generate heat and increase physical endurance. Natural energy and endorphins are released – no need for that mid-morning coffee!
- Strengthens and balances your nervous system, decreasing stress and calming you down.
- Cleanses you of the bad effects of addictions such as smoking, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and other drugs. Proven to be effective for releasing cravings.
- The diaphragmatic pulsing massages the internal organs improving the digestive system and our absorption of nutrients.
So how to do this very beneficial breath? Well firstly don’t do it if you are pregnant, in the first few days of your menstrual cycle or if you are under 16 years old. Otherwise, follow these steps…
- Sit up straight, either on a chair with feet flat on floor or cross legged on a cushion on the floor.
- Close your eyes and roll your eyes up to what’s know as our 3rd eye point, between and a little bit above your eyebrows.
- Focus your attention on the point about 2 inches below your belly button. This is the solar plexus point that you want to pump with the diaphragm.
- Get used to the rhythm by first open the mouth with your tongue out and pant like a dog. Notice how the solar plexus point moves in towards the spine on the exhale and relaxes out on the inhale.
- Put your tongue back in your mouth and continue this breathing pattern through the nose.
- Make sure to keep the pace of the inhale and exhale equal. There is no pause between them and the rate to work towards is about 2 – 3 cycles per second so it’s quite a fast breath.
- Make sure to keep your chest and shoulders relaxed, all the movement is at the solar plexus, relax your hands, feet, face and abdomen.
- If you feel dizzy, either slow down your pace, check your posture or stop altogether.
So if you would like to feel more focused, calmer, energized and centered, try Breath of Fire for just 3 minutes every day for 40 days and watch the change in yourself. Do leave a comment and let me know how you get on…