Breath Of Fire

17422-EX_196_01For this week’s pranayama and in light of the 3rd chakra, Manipura, we’re introducing you to Kapalbhati, also know as Breath of Fire.

This is a rapid diaphragmatic breathing, designed to clean toxins from the body, raise internal fire, and stimulate the ascending current (that which our prana runs along). Having a healthy and spirited 3rd chakra supports us in overcoming inertia, when we choose to consciously activate our core muscles with asana or pranayama we can help build our internal fire, or agni, found in the body. Having a kapalbhati practice can help stimulate not only positive states of being associated with this chakra such as joy and happiness but it can also increase our energy, giving us that extra oomph to get us through the day.

To begin sit in an upright, comfortable seat with your back straight and legs relaxed.

Using the muscles of your kapalbhati-12abdomen, snap (a sharp quick breath) in your diaphragm/belly, causing a quick exhale to escape the body through your nose. Keep your mouth closed.

When you relax your belly, an inhale will naturally occur with air moving in your nose and chest. You need not to force this inhalation.

Then snap the belly once again, followed by a relaxing inhale, causing another exhale and inhale, so with each breath there is more emphasis on your exhales.

When this process feels comfortable for you, repeat quickly, causing several quick exhales. Do in sets of 2o to begin and then you can increase to 50 once you become more accustomed to this practice. Repeat 3 sets. After a while you can place yourself according to what feels right. Increase the number and speed as your stomach muscles become acclimated.

*Note: If at any point you being to feel lightheaded stop your pranayama practice and come back to a neutral breath.

Source: Ayurveda For Everyday and Yoga Journal.

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