Warm Up Your Body with A Breath of Fire
The cold weather is not leaving any time soon, and getting up and away from the warm blanket every morning is undoubtedly an immense torture in this weather. What can we do to make winter more comfortable? Catherine, a level one Kundalini Yoga instructor, shares her best tips for fighting the cold.

PhotoJohnny Lu

TextWenchien Wu

Catherine says breath of fire is the most accessible component in Kundalini Yoga as anyone can easily practice it at home. Beginners can set a goal of three minutes, with legs crossed and upright spine posture, to open the seven chakras with rhythmic breathing.

The Mystery of Fire Breathing
After the practice, before going into a relaxing sleep, it is best to immerse yourself in hot water, either in a full body bath or simply by soaking your feet, to heal your mind, body, and soul. You can add your usual body oils to the body of water based on your preference. We recommend taking Catherine's advice to get the most out of your experience. Use cedar to improve lymphatic circulation and reduce swelling, and use floral oils such as geranium, ylang-ylang, or sage to calm and soothe the parasympathetic nerves.

Photo by Taryn Elliott / Pexels

Breath of fire is the basic breathing method in Kundalini Yoga practice. When exhaling, the belly is retracted. When inhaling, the muscles relax. The breathing rate of “breath of fire” is faster. It can boost the spirit in just a few minutes.

Photo by Catherine
Benefits of Breath of Fire: 

1. Elimination of toxins and deposits in the lungs, mucous membranes, and blood vessels. 
2. Expand the vital capacity and enhance vitality. 
3. Strengthen the nervous system against stress. 
4. Repair the imbalance between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. 
5. Strengthen the strength of the elixir field (Dantian) and strengthen core muscles. 
6. Increase physical endurance. 
7. Relieve the impulse of addiction
8. Increase the oxygen supply to the brain, which helps the brain to concentrate. 
9. Strengthen the immune system and prevent diseases.

The ideal rate of the breath of fire is about 2 to 3 times per second. Throughout the breathing cycle, keep your chest relaxed but slightly lifted, and remember to relax your hands, feet, face, and abdomen. The following is the “breath of fire” method for beginners.

1. Sit cross-legged or sit in a comfortable posture that is relaxed. 
2. Place one hand around the elixir field (Dantian), and gently place the other hand on the knee. 
3. Relax your body and close your eyes, and focus on the center of your eyebrows. 
4. Exhale and at the same time, forcefully retract the elixir field towards the inner spine of the abdomen. 
5. Inhale and exhale with the nose, and close lips. Be careful not to make your face stiff and tight. 
6. Take a deep breath with the nose to expand the abdomen. 
7. Then exhale little by little in 5 times. Exhale at a rate of once per second. Retract abdomen consciously for each exhaling. While retracting the abdomen inward, exhale the last breath. 
8. Gradually reduce the amount of exhalation and increase the number of exhalation to 8 or 10 times. 
9. At the end, take a deep breath, then exhale completely and relax.

At first, it may be difficult for beginners to exhale while performing actions that contract the abdomen toward the spine. Do not worry, slowly repeat inhalation and exhalation. Pay attention to the sound of breathing. It should sound steady, not intense and rapid.

When practicing, only apply slight force on the abdomen, feel the abdomen bounce rhythmically, and relax the rest of the body without shaking back and forth.

1. If you experience discomfort during practice, such as dizziness or out of breath, please slow down first and find a rhythm that fits your body.
2. Please practice with an empty stomach. 
3. Do not practice after meals or before going to bed. 
4. Do not practice during pregnancy or menstrual period. 
5. If you have symptoms such as asthma and hyperventilation, please consult your doctor first.

Fire breathing, which can be practiced everywhere in daily life, is simple and practical. It also can lay a solid foundation for a healthy body! 

Kundalini Yoga X Gong Bath
In the classes Catherine arranged, she combines fire breathing, body postures, and handprints to bring students into Kundalini yoga. Catherine made sure to transform what was originally a ten-minute break with a single gong into an entire 45-minute healing session, using at least four gongs, allowing different frequencies to resonate in the air and clearing the mind, body, and spirit with Sanskrit sounds.

Many wonder about the difference between the Gong bath and other sound healing courses. Catherine said the chanting bowl is a healing method catered to a one-person experience. On the other hand, the crystal bowl healing method focuses primarily on feeling sound frequencies with fewer vibrations. The Gong bath is more suitable for group settings. No sound recording can reproduce the healing effects of the audio and reverberating frequency in resonances from a Gong Bath. Therefore, we welcome you to join this experience in person.


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