Breath of Fire is without a doubt the most sophisticated Pranayama (breath control). It is an amazing tool that fights against anxiety, nerves, fears, pain, and depression.
Yogi Bhajan said that a person has been granted a predetermined number of breaths from birth till his death, and breath of fire is ONE (from the moment you start until you end). This means that you can prolong your life span by doing Breath of Fire!
As mentioned before, the way we feel is directly related to the way we breathe. When dealing with challenging or stressful life situations, our body has an unconscious tendency to pull the diaphragm in. This is the area of the Solar Plexus, where the body keeps all of its emotions.
There are seventy-two thousand nerves in our body. Out of the entire seventy-two thousand , seventy-two are the most important. Out of these seventy-two, ten are vital. In India, they say that if the third Chakra (one of the focal points where all the seventy-two thousand nerves meet), is not in balance, a person cannot be healthy no matter how much medicine he is taking. A way to balance this out is by doing Breath of Fire in “stretch pose".
- Releases all of the built up anxiety and nervousness. Breath of Fire forces the diaphragm in and out and this has a direct impact on the Navel center, releasing the emotions as well.
- Readjusts and strengthens the nervous system.
- Helps to regain control over stressful mental states.
- Helps the heart and circulation by flushing the toxins out of the blood stream.
- Massages the internal organs.
- Releases toxins and deposits from the lungs, mucous lining, and blood vessels.
- Expands the lungs capacity
How to do it
Breathe in and out through the nose (or mouth). Pull the abdomen in towards the diaphragm during the exhalation and out during inhalation. This is very fast, as fast as 2 or 3 times per second, and also very loud. The people next to you should be able to hear you. When perfected, the rate should be 120 to 180 times per minute!!
Do not expect to perfect Breath of Fire the first time, although this can be possible for some lucky ones. Instead, you can start by pushing the abdomen in while exhaling forcefully and loudly, emphasizing the exhalation. Begin to build up from there until you inhale the same amount of air that you exhale. This is a very balanced breath because both inhalation and exhalation have equal power.
Another way to start is by practicing Breath of Fire for a few minutes in thirty second intervals and alternating with Long Deep Breath. You can build up from there to forty-five second periods for two or three minutes. Soon you will be able to do this for long periods of time without stopping or feeling discomfort.
There is one contraindication when the woman is pregnant, or during the two first days of her menstrual cycle. Instead, do long deep breathing.