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10 Ways Breath Of Fire Can Take You Higher

Being a yogi and an avid mediator, I have experienced the benefits of deep breathing. Even with my experience, I never saw much of a difference between breathing techniques until I became well acquainted with Breath of Fire.

At first, I actually hated Breath of Fire “BOF” — probably because I wasn’t doing it right. As much as I hated it, I couldn’t avoid it. I signed up for a Kundalini teacher training, where BOF is one of the foundational breathing techniques. I needed to make BOF my friend, and fast.

If you don’t know what BOF is all about, let me fill you in.

What is Breath of Fire?

Breath of Fire is a rhythmic breath with equal emphasis on the inhale and exhale, no deeper than sniffing. It’s done by pumping the naval point towards the spine on the exhale and releasing the naval out on the inhale. It’s practiced through the nostrils with mouth and eyes closes. When done correctly, you should feel you can go indefinitely.

I was a skeptic when my Kundalini teacher kept repeating the phrase “Master the breath of fire and it is the key to higher consciousness.” She set up some pretty high standards for a simple breathing technique.

Let me tell you, even before my teacher training started, I experienced amazing experiences with BOF. I made it my daily practice to do BOF when I felt disconnected to my inner power. I quickly saw a difference in my focus, calmness and peace of mind. I felt more energized and didn’t absorb negative energy from others. It was like a super power breathe that got me centered much quicker than simply deep long breathes.

Here are 10 incentives to master Breath of Fire to elevate your mind, body and spirit:

  1. 5-15 minutes will purify your blood and release deposits from the lungs. Breathe deeply because you know who HATES oxygen? Cancer cells!
  2. BOF is a breath that burns away disease and karma. Goodbye bad health and hello clarity of spirit and soul.
  3. It stimulates the solar plexus to generate heat and release natural energy throughout the body. Who needs coffee as a mid-day pick me up? I’ll take BOF and it’s FREE!
  4. It strengthens the magnetic field of the body, aka physical aura, to give you greater protection against negative forces. No more absorbing the negative imprints others throw your way. You act from your inner power.
  5. Helps you quickly regain control in a stressful situation by getting you out of your ego and reconnecting to your higher self. Another stress relief tool? How can one ever have enough!
  6. Synchronizes your entire system under one rhythm, thus promoting greater internal harmony and health. AKA you get your mind, body and spirit in sync.
  7. Can help overcome addictions and cleanse you of the bad effects of smoking, drugs, sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Start substituting feelings of cravings with Breath of Fire and start unblocking negative habits.
  8. When done powerfully, the pulsating of the diaphragm massages the internal organs, thus improving the digestive system! It’s a natural Metamucil!
  9. Increases physical endurance when needed in exercise situations. Use in conjunction with exercise and you will be a whole package athlete.
  10. Strengthens and balances your nervous system. In this stressful world, calm nerves are a must!

How To Do Breath Of Fire

Here is a step by step of how to do Breath of Fire:

  1. Sitting up tall, with a straight spine, hands placed on knees in open palm mudra and your eyes closed, start by feeling your belly expand with each inhale and contract with each exhale.
  2. Breath of Fire is powered from the navel point (solar plexus) and the diaphragm is used to pump the navel in and out with each exhale and inhale, respectively
  3. Now that you understand the movements of the diaphragm during breathing, open the mouth and pant like a dog through to understand the diaphragm pattern. Once you have a rhythm, close your mouth and breathe through your nostrils. Now you are doing it!
  4. Quicken the pace of the inhale and exhale, but keep them equal. There is a quick inhale and quick exhale with no pause between them at the rate of approximately 2-3 cycles per second.
  5. Begin practicing for 1-3 minutes at a time. When done correctly, your chest will remain relaxed and slightly lifted and your hands, feet, face and abdomen will also be relaxed.

Please Note: If you feel dizzy, giddy, or light headed, slow down your pace and ensure that both the inhale and exhale are of equal duration.

Breath of Fire should not be done by menstruating or pregnant women, or children younger than 16.

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How Meditation and Breath of Fire Will Help You Become a Master of Your Art

For the last few years I have been doing vipassana meditation and a breathing technique called breath of fire every morning and evening. These exercises have calmed me down and have increased my creativity in ways that I never before could have imagined.

Vipassana Meditation was created by the Buddha over 2,500 years ago and is still taught for free at centers and retreats throughout the world. Breath of Fire is a three minute breathing exercise that is a part of Kundalini Yoga.

Being Creative is like fishing in an Ocean. You are lucky if you can catch a fish. I consider catching a fish like catching a great idea. You can catch ideas, but how many of them are actually good and how many of them can you put together to make a project that is substantial? It could take months before you have one great song or one great script or one great flow of ideas that make you proud.

If you do breath of fire for three minutes daily within six months you will not be fishing in an ocean, you will be fishing in a fish tank. All your ideas will be right there in front of you. You will be able to grasp them more quickly and more easily. You will not spend weeks or months trying to find the fishes. You will find the great ideas in days or even hours. Imagine that? Imagine being able to hold onto and mold great ideas within days?

If you add twenty minutes of vipassana meditation daily on top of the three minutes of breath of fire in six months you will be fishing in a fish tank that is lighted. Now you are playing the game of creativity with ease and joy. Imagine being able to see all your ideas with such ease and also being able to connect the ideas?

Making a decision is a difficult trait for most creative types. We have so many ideas that we want to pursue that focus is often difficult. With breath of fire and meditation you will know which ideas to focus on and which ideas to discard. You will be able to clearly see how ideas match with each other and you will be able to clearly see how past ideas might now work with current ideas. You will become a Master of your Art.

I am now at such peace and ease with my life. My creative process is so fulfilling and enjoyable. I am OK with myself and that in itself is very important. Creative types have been known to be very hard on themselves. From Jim Belushi to Kurt Cobain to Robin Williams; we have seen our fair share of creative types being out of control. With meditation and breathing, I believe the suicide rates amongst creatives will disappear and the amount of ease and joy will increase.

One must enjoy their creative process. One must love their creative process. And one must be fulfilled in their creative process. Breath of Fire and Vipassana Meditation helps us achieve these goals.

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5 Reasons to Practice Breath of Fire

Kapalabhati Pranayama or “Cleaning Breath” is an intermediate to advanced pranayama that consists of short, powerful exhales and passive inhales. This practice is also known as the “Breath of Fire.” The exercise purifies the lungs and nasal passages. It is a powerful, one of a kind breathing exercise that will help the entire body.

Kapalabhati helps to make the motions of your diaphragm very easy and controlled. This helps it to discard the muscle cramps present in bronchial tubes. A lot of force is used to do this pranayama. While exhaling, the process is very strong and while inhaling, the process is very calming. It is a very energizing technique, and when done correctly it will reboot all your muscles. It is also a cleansing technique that places emphasis on cleaning the air passages and blockages in the chest.

Benefits

Cleanse Yourself of Toxic Air

Kapalabhati clears the body from the constant intake of toxins, thus detoxifying it. This technique helps to replace any toxic air with fresh air. The breathing mainly takes place from the abdomen, as opposed to the chest, and this specifically is what helps to remove the toxic air. Kapala means “the skull” and bhati means “brings lightness.” Breathing in this way lightens your skull by extracting problems like sinusitis. This is an invigorating and energizing practice as it fills your stuffy skull with fresh air.

The practice also improves bowel movements which rids the body of the many diseases.

Excellent for Respiratory Problems

It is also one of the best exercises for asthma patients and people suffering from respiratory problems. This stimulating breath can do wonders for every single tissue in your body. The breathing technique will invigorate your spine.

Increases Blood Circulation

It is also useful for maintaining blood pressure. The abdominal organs also become strengthened from the pressure applied to these organs while breathing and exhaling. It increases the blood circulation due to fresh supply of blood. It is also useful for removing impurities from the blood.

Tones Your Abdomen

The abdominal area is toned with the help of this breathing technique. It helps clear the entire nervous system which proves to be very useful in making the body fit.

Helps with Decision Making

A sense of calmness is also achieved due to the lightness of the skull. Kapalabhati helps one to think better and make decisions quickly while also keeping the mind alert. This is a wonderful breathing technique to help the mind and soul, as it helps to awaken the spiritual power which heals many problems facing many of us today.

Contraindications

It should also be noted that Kapalabhati Pranayama is not recommended for those who suffer from cardiac problems, hernia and spinal disorders. In addition, those who suffer from severe respiratory infections, colds and nasal obstruction should not perform this breathing and cleansing technique. Most physicians usually ask people suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes to refrain from performing this breathing technique. Those with abdominal ulcers should also avoid performing the technique. If you are pregnant, you should not practice this type of breathing exercise.

Since there are some Kapalabhati risks it is best to perform it only after consulting with a qualified yoga instructor who has practiced this breathing technique and is familiar with it.

Breath of Fire – Pranayama Series

Learn a new yoga breath technique with Adriene! In this pranayama practice we tackle the Breath Of Fire or Kapalabhati. This powerful breath is rhythmic and consists of short strong exhales and passive inhales. It works the diaphragm and when practiced regularly can benefit the entire muscular body, remove scary toxins and sharpen your focus! Breath Of Fire is a cleansing breath that can reboot the system and is especially yummy during winter months when the respiratory system/bronchial passages could perhaps use some extra TLC. Go deeper with Kapalabhati Pranayama!

Breath of fire and yoga

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 €œ“stretch pose.

Benefits:

  • 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.

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