The powerful Breath Of Fire
If someone asked me which form of breathing I like best in Kundalini Yoga, I would definitely answer: “The breath of fire". In the following I will tell you why I think so.
If you practice yoga, you may have heard about the technique of the breath of fire - also known as “Agni Pran” - or have used it yourself. Especially in Kundalini Yoga many different breathing techniques are used, which stimulate and support your whole body-mind-soul system in different ways. Today I will deepen with you the insight into the power of the breath of fire.
🔥 How does the breath of fire work?
Let us start directly with the most important point: the technique. You can best feel all the energy of the breath of fire if you execute this breathing pattern correctly.
Sit upright in a comfortable sitting position (on your yoga mat or chair/sofa) and stretch your back. Your head will rise and your buttocks will remain firmly rooted to the base of your seat. Your breath flows through your nose as you breathe in and out. Your mouth is closed. First, consciously perceive the flow of your breath. When breathing in, breathe deeply into your stomach, when breathing out, pull your navel slightly inwards towards your spine and press the last air out of your lungs. Connect with the power of your navel. Place one or both hands on your stomach to feel the bulging and contraction directly. Now slowly increase your breathing speed so that your breaths become shorter. Increase the pace until you inhale and exhale about 2-3 times per second, i.e. 2-3 breathing cycles. You can perceive that the breath of fire is a fast, rhythmic and continuous breathing pattern. Make sure that inhalation and exhalation are of equal length. During the practice of the breath of fire you will be able to perceive the movement of your belly, because the breath of fire emanates from this area. As you exhale, focus on expelling the air powerfully through your nose by pulling your navel point inward toward your spine. Inhalation is automatic to a certain extent, but you must not remain without attention. This will relax your upper abdominal muscles so that your diaphragm can descend again. Keep your chest slightly elevated. Your chest remains relaxed while you breathe in.
Explanation VIDEO for you 👇
🔆 What effects does the breath of fire have?
The list of positive effects on your entire system from practicing the breath of fire is quite long. If you practice this breathing technique regularly and correctly, you can benefit from these effects:
- Toxins and deposits from your lungs, mucous membranes, blood vessels and other cells are released. The breath of fire has a very cleansing and detoxifying effect.
- Your lung capacity expands.
- Your life force or energy (Pran(a)) increases.
- You will experience a strengthening of your nervous system and an increase in its resistance to stress.
- A balance between your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system is established.
- Your navel chakra is strengthened and thus brings you (more) into your own middle. You become centered.
- There is an increase in your physical stamina.
- Your actions become more effective.
- Your aura experiences an alignment of its subtle psycho-electromagnetic field, which leads to the energization of your blood.
- Any craving for drugs, tobacco or bad food is reduced.
- The oxygen supply to your brain is increased, which supports your concentrated, neutral mind.
- Your immune system is strengthened.
- The synchronization of the biorhythms of your body systems is promoted.
- You feel warmth coming up inside you.
- Your blood circulation improves and your circulation is strengthened.
- Your fat and cell metabolism and digestion are stimulated.
- This form of breathing helps against asthma.
- You reduce anger and rage, become more satisfied and feel more joy.
This is an amazing list of effects. Who would not like to benefit from them?
Wahe Guru! 🙏
Are there any “side effects”?
Especially in the beginning, when you are not that familiar with the breath of fire, you may feel dizzy. Then you should take a break and return to long, deep breathing. If you experience other discomfort or tingling, these are normal symptoms. This is your body showing you that it is getting used to the new breathing technique and that your nerves are being invigorated. The focus on your 3rd eye can help you to stay focused. In general, such symptoms decrease if you drink a lot of water and change your diet to light food. Depending on what you have been “giving” to your body so far, toxins may also be released into your body.
🚫 Limitations in the practice of the breath of fire
There are also states of your body that restrict you in the practice of the breath of fire. Several of these primarily affect the women among us.If you are pregnant, you should generally NOT practice breath of fire. Instead, you can use long, deep breathing. During your menstruation it is recommended, especially in the first 1-3 days (depending on the intensity), not to practice breath of fire. However, I would like to deliberately leave this decision to each woman on her own, as each woman experiences the state of her menstruation differently. If you are a woman going through menopause and are experiencing hot flashes, this is another condition where you should use the breat of fire more critically. The breath of fire heats up your body even more, which can be too much for you at that moment. If you have high blood pressure, you should also be careful with the breath of fire - this applies to men and women alike - as it can increase your blood pressure.
It is best to actively feel inside yourself each time and then decide if and how intensively you want to practice the breath of fire on that day.
⚡ Can something be done wrong?
Yes. The practice of breath of fire is facing certain difficulties, which I would like to point out to you very clearly.
A common breathing mistake is the paradoxical breath. In this case, the stomach goes inwards when breathing in and the chest rises; when breathing out, the stomach goes outwards and the chest lowers again. This pattern is exactly the opposite of how the breath should proceed. This is the way your breath should actually go: When you breathe in, the belly bulges outward and when you breathe out, it moves inward. If you experience paradoxical breathing, it is best to place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. In this way you can adjust your breath and consciously and slowly start with the breath of fire.
Sometimes you may also use exaggerated abdominal movements, similar to a bellows. However, the breath of fire is not bellows breathing. It is created a little higher near the solar plexus. Again, consciously feel inside yourself and perceive the center of the breath of fire for yourself.
Your attention to the balance between inhalation and exhalation may decrease. In this case it is recommended to first exaggerate both parts one after the other, i.e. more inhalation than exhalation and then more exhalation than inhalation. In this way you should directly feel the effects of the overemphasis of the respective breathing parts, so that your feeling for the right balance can increase. Pay attention to the sound of your breathing and let a steady rhythm develop.
You tense your face. This is an indication that you are using your navel incorrectly. Your face should be soft and relaxed during the breath of fire, just as it is during the long deep breathing. Keep consciously feeling into your energy centers in your abdomen and upper body and perceive your face.
❗ In general, it is important to start slowly as a beginner in the practice of breath of fire and become familiar with the technique. Approach slowly and increase the pace only when you have developed a feeling for the breath of fire. Over time, you will be able to feel the benefits of the breath of fire more directly and consciously. You can then enjoy these effects very intensely.
I wish you a lot of joy in getting to know & practicing the breath of fire! 💫
Please also pay attention that this guide for breath of fire and your use of it is a decision you have to take on your own. I cannot promise to you that you’ll feel these benefits as well, as every human being is unique and therefore reacts individually. If you’re not sure, if you can practice the breath of fire, please ask your doctor (as mentioned in my disclaimer). ☝️