get ritual quick
EARLY MORNING BREATH OF FIRE
An ancient pranayama practice more potent than a cup of coffee.
In many yogic traditions, Breath of Fire is prescribed as a jetpack to boost energy, turbocharge meditation, and clear the cobwebs from the mind.
Dynamic and invigorating, it’s a potent way to start your day. A snap to attention, Breath of Fire will wake you up faster than a shot of espresso and land you smack dab in the middle of the present moment.
Sending all that oxygen to the brain leads to improved focus and a natural state of calm awareness. The concentrated breath also strengthens and balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, powers up the third chakra, aids in digestion, and helps the body release toxins.
- Breath is rapid, rhythmic and continuous.
- Inhales and exhales are through the nose.
- Breath is powered from the navel and the solar plexus through rapid stomach pumps: On the exhale, air is expelled through the nose by pressing the navel back toward the spine. On the inhale, the belly relaxes and the diaphragm flattens down.
- Work toward producing inhales and exhales of equal length.
- This breath can be fast and rigorous but the body stays relaxed, especially the face. No wrinkles!
GET INTO IT
- Find a comfortable seat with a long spine, head gently inclined toward your chest.
- Set your attention at your third eye, just between the brows, with eyes gently closed.
- Rest your hands on your knees, fingers in maha-chin mudra (index fingers under the thumbs), or, to turn up the volume a bit, extend your arms in a wide V over your head, fingers tucked into your palm with your thumb stuck out like a cosmic hitchhiker.
- Take a regular inhale and exhale to begin. Then, inhale partway and begin breathing rapidly while engaging the belly, letting it move in with the exhale and out with the inhale.
- When you’re done, draw a deep breath in, retain the breath until it no longer feels comfortable, and then slowly release the breath through the nose.
- Sit quietly and observe the effects.
Take note: This is a powerful practice. Begin with short sessions and rest if you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Skip if you’re pregnant. It’s uncomfortable to do on a full stomach so you might as well get to it first thing. As with any pranayama practice it’s wise to study with a teacher. Energy moves up and out in unexpected ways; a safe container for experimentation is clutch. Happy journeying.