Breath of Fire (Agni-Prasana)

hero-poseBreath of Fire is without a doubt the most sophisticated Pranayama (breath control) used in yoga. It is an amazing tool that fights against anxiety, nerves, fears, pain, and depression.

Master Yogis said that a person has been granted a predetermined number of breaths from birth till his death, and breath of fire is ONE (from the moment you start until you end). This means that you can prolong your life span by doing Breath of Fire!

The way we feel is directly related to the way we breathe. When dealing with challenging or stressful life situations, our body has an unconscious tendency to pull the diaphragm in. This is the area of the Solar Plexus, where the body keeps all of its emotions.

There are seventy-two thousand nerves in our body. Out of the entire seventy-two thousand , seventy-two are the most important. Out of these seventy-two, ten are vital. In India, they say that if the third Chakra (one of the focal points where all the seventy-two thousand nerves meet), is not in balance, a person cannot be healthy no matter how much medicine he/her is taking. A way to balance this out is by doing Breath of Fire in “lotus pose or hero pose”.

Breath of Fire is done through the nose (further down the page are the basic instructions) and the inhalation and exhalation are of equal duration. The body stays relatively still and relaxed, only the naval point is vigorously working.

In BOF it is essential that the navel point is pulled in only on the exhalation. Some people have developed the habit of pulling in their stomachs on the inhalation. This is called “reversed” breathing.

To check your breathing to make sure that your BOF is not reversed, lie on your back with your hand just below your belly button. As you exhale, be sure that your belly moves inward (your hand should ink toward the floor).

As you relax your naval to inhale, your hand will rise. Be aware of the movement of your hand: it rides toward your spine on the exhalation and away from your spine on the inhalation. Once you became comfortable that your breath is correct while lying down, sit up and again use your hand to make sure that you are using your naval point correctly.

Benefits:

  • Releases all of the built up anxiety and nervousness. Breath of Fire forces the diaphragm in and out and this has a direct impact on the Navel centre, releasing the emotions as well.
  • Readjusts and strengthens the nervous system.
  • Helps to regain control over stressful mental states.
  • Helps the heart and circulation by flushing the toxins out of the blood stream.
  • Massages the internal organs.
  • Releases toxins and deposits from the lungs, mucous lining, and blood vessels.
  • Expands the lungs capacity

 How to do it

Breathe in and out through the nose (or mouth). Pull the abdomen in towards the diaphragm during the exhalation and out during inhalation. This is very fast, as fast as 2 or 3 times per second, and also very loud. The people next to you should be able to hear you. When perfected, the rate should be 120 to 180 times per minute!!

Contraindications

Seek medical approval before practising breath of fire if you suffer from any of the issues below

  • breathing problems such as asthma
  • dizzy spells
  • epilepsy
  • heart conditions
  • digestive problems such as ulcers or colitis
  • regular headaches

 How many times should be done?

From 5 to 15 minutes every day, it is the best way to keep the blood purified. (start with 3 minutes and work up)31 minutes of Breath of Fire every day will regulate the pituitary. Pituitary will regulate the entire glandular system. Glandular system will change the nervous system. BOF is a breath which burns away all disease and karma. It is a conscious voluntary breath.

Quickly oxygenates your blood, thus helping the body detoxify itself and remove waste more effectively. Builds lung capacity and helps purify the respiratory system.

Generates heat and increases your level of energy by activating the energy flows in your body.

Synchronizes your entire system under one rhythm, thus promoting greater internal harmony and health. Balances and strengthens the Nervous System.

Magnifies the benefits of exercises done in conjunction with this breath.

When done forcefully, the pulsating of the diaphragm massages the internal organs, thus improving the digestive system.

 

 

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