Push Reset With Breath of Fire
by Kathy Smith
If you were to search for the life force in your body—if you wanted proof of life—it would be your breath. You can breathe hard, as you do when you’re exercising, or quietly as when you sleep; you can breathe consciously or unconsciously, but your breath is a rhythm that never stops.
In a physical sense, the breath delivers oxygen, our body’s most constant requirement. But in psychic terms, breath also is a conduit of emotions, of sexual vitality—of everything that we call spirit. In addition to keeping us alive and vital, the breath creates a connection between our outer environment and our inner self.
I remember my first experiences years ago with a breathing technique called BREATH OF FIRE! With its emphasis on breath, it’s both energizing and calming. It taught me to focus on the moment-to-moment experience of opening my body.
After a few minutes, I experienced a wave of relaxation, openness, and pleasure. Physically, I felt looser, disentangled, calm.
Today, push the reset button as I guide you through the basics of breath of fire, and 2 awakening moves that use the technique…
***Women with an IUD should not do Breath of Fire.***
BUTTERFLY ON BACK
1. Lie on your back.
2. Place the soles of your feet together, heels a few inches from your pubic bone, with your knees bent out to the side like butterfly wings.
3. Place your palms on your belly and take several long breaths into your palms.
Benefits: Frees hips, stretches adductor muscles, and improves circulation through hips.
Beginning Modification: Place a pillow under each knee for support.
Advanced Modification: While in Butterfly, add one minute of Breath of Fire. (Breath of Fire: Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, with an emphasis on a strong exhale as you draw your navel in toward your spine.)
The way you begin your practice sets the tone for the rest of the journey. An opening posture such as this allows you to start your practice quietly and provides a chance to let go of your usual daily concerns, to draw your energy and awareness inward, and to become centered. This, in turn, allows you to move deeper into your own body’s intelligence and benefit more greatly from your practice.
Movement Focus: Power spirals in spine; navel moves into spine.
Time: Two minutes.
1. Lie down on your back.
2. Lift your shoulder blades and legs two inches up from the floor, keeping your chin tucked in.
3. Curl your pubic bone toward your navel and reach your arms toward your feet, parallel to the floor.
4. Start Breath of Fire as you move your arms up and down three inches, synchronized with your breath. (Breath of Fire: Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, with an emphasis on a strong exhale as you draw your navel in toward your spine.)
5. Keep your shoulder blades off the floor while pressing your navel to your lower back, and your lower back into the floor.
Benefits: Total core empowerment.
Beginning Modification: Bend your knees and place both feet on the floor, hip distance apart, eight inches away from your sitbones.
Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.