Deep Breathing and Breath of Fire
those that have been doing Long Deep Breathing and Breath of Fire
for many years, the breath is so natural and easy that unless
one is also teaching one might not easily focus on what the difficulty
could possibly be.
Quite often students will fill the lower abdominal area of the
lungs, then as the try to fill the chest area, they shift the
air from the lower area to the chest, as they try to lift the
rib cage, and do not actually keep the downward pressure of air
in filling upwards, but instead only shift upwards, so that a
complete breath is still only chest breathing and not actually
The conscious awareness of the diaphragm is not apparent to every
one so some means needs to be provided to somehow allow attention
to the sensation of the use of the diaphragm to come into focus
until the natural rhythm of the diaphragm is felt and the effortless
force and flow of prana takes over.
great way to relax, and also very good for any lung-related problems.
Long Deep Breathing is usually taught first because one can become
aware of the full distention and contraction of the diaphragm,
after which the Breath of Fire may come more naturally.
cross-legged (or even in corps pose), in long deep breathing one
will first fill the abdominal area by inhaling the air down, then
pressing the air consciously into the lower areas. By arching
somewhat forward with ones palms on the knees, then with arms
straight pressing the palms inward towards the lower body against
the knees, the chest cavity will open forwards, so that you can
not only keep the pressure on the lungs in the lower abdominal
area, but also feel the lungs filling in and through the chest
area and, finally, because of the forward arch of the spine the
upper area of the lungs will fill as well, all without the need
to either open the rib cage or raise the shoulders.
the lungs are completely filled in this manner, hold the breath
lightly for a moment and press the shoulders back and expand the
chest out so that the full length and pressure on the diaphragm
can be felt.
contract the entire length of the diaphragm from the upper chest
to the abdomen, so that all the air is squeezed out.
breathing in this way through the nostrils for several breaths,
the flow of energy consciousness (the feeling of prana) through
the diaphragm can be felt from the pressing down and distending
of the air into the lower region of the lungs, where most of the
blood circulates, then filling through and up to the chest areas
from the back to the front and into the upper lungs.
pressure in the lungs in all areas of the lungs also generates
energy in all the nerve endings, so that the entire body is effected
both by the breath and the pressure on the nerves.
the Long Deep Breathing is done in the manner described, the focus
on the muscles of the abdomen, chest and shoulder areas as being
involved in the breathing begins to recede, as the natural bellows
like motion of the entire diaphragm is felt.
of Fire (Agni-Prasana)
cleansing & energising breath, powered by abdominal contractions
Once the diaphragm
is felt during Long Deep Breathing then there are a couple of
ways in which one can begin to do Breath of Fire, where the air
is pulled in and pumped out very rhythmically, just like pumping
a bellows, without any tension being felt whatsoever on the abdominal
muscles, chest and rib cage muscles or shoulders, which remain
relaxes throughout the breath, so that it may almost seem that
you can continue the rhythm indefinitely with little effort at
way to start Breath of Fire, which was the way I learned it some
30 years ago, is to start with long deep breathing, then as soon
as the lungs are completely expanded, as described earlier, to
immediately force the air out, and as soon as most of the air
is out to immediately expand the air back in, each time arching
the spine forwards and pressing the palms inward against the knees
in a light manner to feel the diaphragm filling the lungs from
the back to the front completely, then contracting again.
each breath one expands a bit faster and contracts a bit faster
until without expanding or contracting completely, a rhythm is
felt, and you let that rhythm take over.
might liken it to an old model locomotive where the wheels lurch
forwards until some steam and speed is built up, then suddenly
the train is moving forward almost effortlessly, with each breath
like the chugging sound of the locomotive.
other way to get into the rhythm of the Breath of Fire for some,
may be to immediately go to a powerful rhythmic breath, just by
visualizing the bellows like nature of the diaphragm.
way, from that point on you can make the Breath of Fire very powerful
or very light.
Breath of Fire is not the same as Bastrika, which is a light fast
rhythmic breath, usually taught as one of the pranayamas in hatha
is the Breath of Fire like Kabalabati, which is a forceful breath,
where you contract the abdomen and rib cage (pulling on the root
lock with each contacting breath), where the simple relaxing of
the rib cage brings the air back into the lungs, without inhaling,
and you force the air out again (also in a rhythmic manner).
Kapalabati is very powerful and beneficial, and while it is used
in many KY Kriyas, it is not the same as Breath of Fire.
of Fire will entirely charge the nervous system, causing the glands
to secrete and purify the blood. When it is done with certain
postures and movements, which are meant to put contracting (drawing
in) or expanding (releasing) pressure in nerve plexuses and glandular
centers, those areas are made to fire and become completely charged.
an area becomes charged, the sexual (seminal) fluids are released
into the bloodstream and flow to those charged areas, so that
gradually those areas will maintain that charge and pranic pressure
builds throughout the body converting Bindu (Tamasic and Rajasic
energy) to Ojas (Satvic energy), which fills and permeates the
entire body and mind.
by bit, over a period of just a few weeks of sets and kriyas combining
posture, movement, breath, sound and locks, the entire body will
begin to feel magnetically electric and etheric, as the field
becomes balanced with an inward dynamo-like force.
this charge builds and polarizes, the mind becomes very still,
very clear and bright, and a radiance is felt in and through and
around the body and head.
feeling of the stressful need to think and act and to be the "doer"
begin to recede, as the mind becomes more receptive and open to
notice that there seems to be an almost automatic connectedness
between one's aims and events and experiences that come to fulfill
them. The feeling of a natural ever present oneness begins to
emerge as a clearer always existing reality.
by little, outward tendencies of the mind towards the physical
and mental begin to fade, and one abides in one's satvic presence
- spacelike, pervasive, without the sense of me or mine - the
Self-Effulgent Heart, where "I AM" is the single Truth.
practice of Kundalini Yoga with the natural awareness and rhythm
of the diaphragm in Long Deep Breathing and Breath of Fire allows
the postures and kriyas to have the greatest and most complete
effect in bringing the satvic field to the point where the Self
recollects Itself and abides without attention in one's True Name
- Sat Nam.
these breaths out this way and see what happens.
of us don't know how to breathe properly. We take shallow breaths
as if we are afraid of what breath does. But breath is manna to
our bodies...so we should drink heavily and deeply to energize
and feed our bodies.
was taught by breathing in to the count of four...slow counts.
Feel the breath expand your ribcage.....you are aiming to fill
your whole chest cavity with air. At the end of the fourth, when
you think you can't take any more air in, take a sip more. Hold
for a count of four. Exhale over a count of four....and when you
think you have all the air out, huff more out.
will be amazed how much you can get out after this count of four.
You may experience burning in your lungs doing this. But soon,
your breathing comes deep and sure....and the count of four expands
to a count of five...six. I was told to concentrate on the emptiness
between breathing in and breathing out....that period of stillness.
my lungs were used to doing this, I started breathing in from
different parts of my body. No one taught me this...it just started
to happen when I meditated. I would open up my crown chakra and
breathe the energy down, on an inbreath....feeling it flow around
my heart....keeping it there....then on the outbreath, push the
breath down the rest of my body to exit out my feet. Then I would
reverse it, breathing in my feet, feel it flowing to my heart,
then on the exhale, pushing it up and out my head. Dizzying at
first....but the energy that fills me when I do that is incredible.
found out later that I was unconsciously doing something that
is taught to get the energy flowing in the two currents that wind
around our spines. We would practice this for about five minutes.....at
the beginning of each session. It prepared us for the work in
the session by calming us and getting our minds into the proper
space for work.
fire breath is very different. Here, you concentrate on
the outbreath, as it is thrown out with such force, the inbreath
comes after it automatically. We were taught to put our hand on
our bellies and use those muscles to force air out of our lungs
in a whoosh. Our hands were to remind us to use those muscles
to force it out. Your whole abdomen is used to empty the lungs
very quickly. You should hear your breath coming out vocally....almost
like a cough but not so loud...kinda like a HUH sound.
you are not using so much breath...it is like little sips in and
whooshes out. Like my advanced terminology?? :;grins:: As the
fire in fire breath is related to the power center or third chakra,
this is where the breath is being localized. You are using your
diaphragm and stomach muscles to force the breath out. Dizzying
again.....and you feel the heat in your belly rising up into you.....making
your head reel with it.
took me awhile to get used to doing this....and my stomach muscles
hated me for a while... but it was worth everything to feel what
I did when the rising started. At first, we couldn't do it very
much.....it was far too difficult to keep up....but as the weeks
went by, we had longer lessons using it.
alternate nostril breathing was taught to us after the
above two. After doing the first breathing exercise a few times,
raise one of your hands to your face, palm facing it. Put your
thumb by one nostril and your forefinger by the other. Gently
put your thumb over the nostril, blocking the passage of air through
it. Breathe in the other nostril slowly, using the first technique.
Hold the inbreath for a second...concentrating on the stillness....then
exhale. Remove your thumb, and put your forefinger on it's nostril
and breathe in...concentrating on the middle...exhale.
to alternate with one complete inhale/exhale per thumb/finger.
Do this for about eight to ten cycles. You should feel this breathing
calming you yet energizing your chakras.
P. Boles lives in a small town, east of Toronto, Canada,
and is a student and teacher of chakras. A gifted healer,
using her own brand of hands-on and remote healing, she
makes use of Reiki, Therapeutic touch and an inner child
process to help people. This is not a full time occupation
- she mainly helps people over the Net as she finds her
effectiveness is greater using this energy medium. She
has facilitated earth healing meditations for several
Susan first started taking Kundalini yoga, she had a very
hard time even getting on the floor. She had broken her
back at work. Doing anything was extremely painful. Her
teacher was very patient with her - allowing her to adapt
positions she couldn't get into or found hard to maintain.
After a few months, and the aid of other alternative healing
methods, she was able to move with much greater mobility,
feeling the energy move up her spine. The fire breath,
actually just learning to breathe properly, helped her
a lot. Now, she says, if you look at her back, you will
not find the break. She went from being wheelchair dependent,
according to allopathics, to being able to do anything
she wanted, and she does too!