Breath of Fire

Breath of Fire

This more advanced breathing method involves partial breath retention combined with rapid nasal breathing.

Often practiced as part of a breathing series, this stimulating breathing method is a highly effective way to help you focus your energy prior to meditation. If you feel especially anxious, or are new to breath retention practices, be sure to reach the notes below.

The Practice

  • Find a comfortable seat, either crossed-legged on the floor, hips slightly elevated or seated in a chair, feet on the floor.
  • Hands can rest on your thighs, palms up or down.
  • Gently close your eyes.
  • Take a few deep easy sighs, releasing extra tension in your body.
  • Exhale completely and then inhale naturally
  • Begin a series of rapid forced exhalations through your nose followed by reflexive inhalations. Pull your belly sharply in with each quick exhale, then let your inbreath naturally follow.
  • Keep pumping your navel to your spine while exhaling forcefully through your nose. The in-breaths will take care of themselves as you release your belly.
  • Keep going with this short, sharp pattern of rhythmical breathing, focused on the exhalation as many times as you can before you need to take a catch breath.
  • 2-3 more rounds and then resume regular breathing.

The Breath

Work up to 30 to 50 breaths per round, increasing as you can without disrupting the rhythm.

Focus on abdominal or belly breathing.

Do up to 3 rounds, take a catch breath in between.

Notes:

Best done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as part your daily practice.

Often practiced in combination with Bellows Breath and Alternate Nostril Breathing to quiet the mind for meditation.

During practice, the stress activation response is gently stimulated, boosting your metabolism before returning to resting. This short uptick shortcuts a full blown stress response so the positive benefits stay without awakening the cortisol response.

Best to avoid this practice if you have untreated high blood pressure, heart disease, or glaucoma.

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