Breath of fire-to help you through the winter months
A great paractice before jumping out of bed in the morning
Breath of fire is a strong abdominal breath or what is known as ‘pranayama’ in the yoga world. It has a variety of benefits a few are as follows:
- Regulates the digestive system and metabolism
- Keeps the mind focused
- Encourages breath awareness
- Helps release ‘Agni’ digestives fire there fore helping to warm the whole body during these cold wintery months.
- Helps to burn access fat within the body
- Cleanses the digestive tract and internal organs
How to practice
Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight either resting in easy pose or on the knees.
Place the right hand on the abdomen and take your awareness to your breath. Allow yourself time to relax the breath inhaling deeply expanding the ribcage and abdomen and exhaling allow it to gently contract. Give yourself 5 minutes to find your centre keeping the focus on the 3rd eye point.
To begin breath of fire take 3 long slow deep breathes, feel the abdomen pushing against the hand on the inhale,then as you exhale begin by forcing the breath out through the nostrils and as you do this ‘snap’ the abdomen in towards the spine, this is a quick active motion. The inhale will be very brief, the exaggeration and focus is on the exhale and the movement of the abdomen as if moves in and out.
Start slowly and in time begin to quicken up the breath(but not too fast that you hyperventilate). When you feel confident that the breath is moving in the correct direction release the hand from the abdomen and rest in ‘gyan mudra’ on the knees. Continue the practice.
Take 10 breathes with breath of fire to begin allowing yourself 5 full yoga breathes in between to encourage relaxation and release tension.keep the focus on the 3rd eye. Again the timing can be increased as you become more confident.
Seek medical approval before practising breath of fire if you suffer from any of the issues below
- breathing problems such as asthma
- dizzy spells
- heart conditions
- digestive problems such as ulcers or colitis
- regular headaches