Breath of Fire: How To Do It, Benefits, More!

Breath of Fire, also known as Bhastrika or Bellows Breath, is a rhythmic breath with equal emphasis on the inhale and exhale, essentially no deeper than sniffing. When done correctly you should have the feeling that you can go on indefinitely. It is important to keep your diaphragm relaxed so that your navel moves in rhythm with the breath. The navel moves in while the exhaling is occuring and relaxes on the inhale. If this is not happening, you can help it along a little bit by slightly pulling your navel in on the exhale. Your lower stomach should not be moving more than your navel.

A common mistake that people make while doing Breath of Fire is to emphasize the exhale. Remember to keep the inhale and exhale even. If you experience shortness of breath while doing Breath of Fire, then it probably means that your diaphragm (solar plexus) is tight, usually from stress and emotional holding patterns.

Breath of Fire sort of sounds like a steam locomotive, but again, it should be done in a relaxed manner, with no strain whatsoever. Keep you lips together, face relaxed, and as we said MAKE SURE THAT YOUR DIAPHRAGM IS RELAXED. Breath Fire is done with the upper lungs. The entire lung capacity will be involved but this is a sympathetic process and you dont need to force anything. If initially you have difficulty sustaining the Breath of Fire, then substitute Long Deep Breathing, and go back to the Breath of Fire when you can.

Long Deep Breathing should be substituted for Breath of Fire after the fourth month of pregnancy. Also, it is recommend that young adults, under the age of 16 refrain from doing the Breath of Fire (because it stimulates the pituitary gland and can, according to Yogi Bhajan, prematurely stimulate sex hormones).

Some benefits for Breath of Fire are:

It creates a rhythmic entrainment among all systems and organs to put you in sync with yourself.

It oxygenates and purifies the bloodstream.

It stimulates the nadis,and other energy flows in the body.

It is said to engender the internal benefits in 1 min. which would have taken up to an hour in the same pose with a normal breath.

It stimulates the pituitary gland and helps to bring all of the glands into balance.

It strengthens the magnetic field of the body, also knows as the circumvent force, or physical aura.

Kappalabati, not to be confused with Breath of Fire, is a cleansing breath which entails a quick inhale with a sharp exhale and is only meant to be done for short periods.

If Breath of Fire is uncomfortable for you, your solar plexus may be tight from stress or emotional duress. Practice consciously releasing the upper abdominal area as you do the Breath of Fire and also, as you go about your day, continually keep this area relaxed. When the solar plexus is blocked there is a disconnect between feeling and thinking. To be an integrated well balanced person in all areas of our lives it is very important to have the solar plexus open.

Its also very important to remember that when areas that have been blocked begin to open, sometimes we can feel a little resistance as old habits and perspectives die hard.

By all means stay within your comfort zone (Breath of Fire should be very relaxed and rhythmic, if this is not possible substitute Long Deep Breathing) but know that there is no place left to go but onward and upward!