There’s no denying that as we take steps in life to rise to our highest potential we’re going to hit walls.
Sometimes the wall will be the fear of going to the next level, the level that goes way beyond our comfort zone. Sometimes it will be something we’re sure was resolved, and feel defeated at seeing this pattern back in our life.
It can be very frustrating to see an old, limiting pattern return and stare us down like a growling dog, daring us to walk across its path. No matter how much it scares us to face it again, we can clear old patterns for good. One thing that can quickly and effectively help is the breath of fire.
Breath of fire is a Kundalini Yoga breathing technique that literally creates heat in the body. This is caused by the quick stomach movements, which cause our muscles to warm up and raise the temperature in the lower torso. The name also reflects that using this move is like turning on a switch that lights up the mind and body.
When we’re butting up against a wall, this move is something that will clear the mind so we can see what’s happening. It will also fire us up to find new solutions and to realize we are bigger and stronger than our fears and limiting beliefs.
When using this breathing technique we are clearing, moving and raising energy in our first three chakras.
These three chakras each have an important role to play in our sense of self-power.
Because they are all connected and related in purpose, activating and clearing all three at once enhances the overall healing. The more we heal, nurture and honor our sense of self-power, the more passionate and alive we will feel.
This breath works first on the root chakra, which is red and known as Muladhara in Sanskrit. This is the grounding chakra, the one that strengthens our connection to Mother Earth.
By breathing into this chakra, we will empower ourselves to take our dreams and visions and actualize them into solid things. Tuning into it also helps us to understand our purpose in life. It helps us to know what are here to do, and to connect with the physical things that will help us to do it (people, events, and so on).
The sacral, or second chakra, is orange and called Svadhisthana. This energy center holds our creativity. Even if we don’t consider ourselves to be creative in the sense of being an artist, this energy center is important.
We are the creator of our own life. Having a healthy sacral chakra will help us to know that we are not a bystander to life, but a powerful being who creates with their thoughts and feelings.
The solar plexus, or third chakra, is yellow and is called Manipura, which means the “City of Jewels”. In Sanskrti, Mani means gem and Pura or Puri means city. This is the seat of self-confidence. It first helps us to feel comfortable and supported in being true to who we are.
It also helps us to feel determined and capable when taking action and continuing on in the face of adversity. The breath of fire will work to unlock old anxiety we’ve locked within so it can release. This energy will then transmute and return to being love, both love of self and love of life.
To do this technique will breathe fast through the nose while moving the stomach in a coordinated pattern. The fast, pumping breaths have multiple physical and emotional benefits. As we push and pull the stomach in and out we will physically be pushing on stuck energy.
We will also clear stuck emotional energy in the chakras listed above. The blood will get pumping faster, cleansing it as old oxygen is quickly released. Breathe in just as fast, and the continual bursts of fresh oxygen rejuvenate the entire mind and body system.
To begin the breath of fire, sit on the floor with legs crossed under you. Ensure the shoulders are back and you’re sitting up straight. You will breathe through your nose only. As you breathe in, push your stomach out, allowing the breath to completely fill your lungs. As you breathe out, pull your stomach in, using it as a pump to quickly and fully exhale the breath. Do this in fast movements.
It may take a few tries to get the rhythm down. With a little bit of practice, the motions will become natural, and you will find you can frequently use this exercise to uplift and energize your power center.
As you feel comfortable with the movement, you can also enhance the practice by visualizing a fire in your first three chakras. You might imagine this fire is like a furnace, energizing your life as it burns up all that you are done with and using it to fuel you forward.
Author: Melissa Field
Editor: Renee Jahnke
Image: Daz Smith-Flickr