Guest Author - Tracy Webb
Kundalini Yoga is mostly dynamic. It involves a lot of twisting, sharp breathing and stamina. A fair amount of Kundalini Yoga is practiced while sitting in easy pose – cross legged on the floor.
Each exercise is done along with the Breath of Fire, a breathing technique that complements each procedure. Breath of Fire is fairly simple in itself, however, when done repeatedly can make you feel dizzy and lightheaded. If this happens you should stop and breathe normally.
Breath of Fire
• Sit comfortably on the floor. Ensure you have a cushion to tilt your hips forward to assist in keeping the back straight.
• Relax your body and your mind.
• Close your eyes.
• Bring your awareness to your nostrils and start to breathe in quick succession in and out equally through the nose.
That’s all there is to it. You can practice the Breath of Fire using slow inhalations and exhalations. Once you are comfortable with this you can speed up the frequency of each breath.
There are some contra-indications with the Breath of Fire and it should be used carefully. It is recommended that you take care if you have high blood pressure, have had a stroke or are prone to epilepsy. Also abstain from the Breath of Fire on the first day or two of menstruation so as not to exert strain on the abdomen or increase body heat. On subsequent days you may do a gentle slower version of the Breath of Fire.
The Breath of Fire is used with most Kundalini postures as it greatly enhances the benefits that can be achieved. You may notice your lung capacity improves and heat being generated in the body as you practice. It is also said to assist with detoxification.
When doing Kundalini postures it is recommended that you hold them for up to three minutes while performing the Breath of Fire. It’s not for the faint hearted. Learning the Breath of Fire first assists with your progress in this branch of yoga. Aim for thirty seconds to begin with and build it up to a minute. Increasing by 30 seconds each time you are comfortable with the previous time you have achieved. Again, stop if you feel dizzy or uncomfortable and resume normal breathing.
As with all yoga practices, it is important to take your time and progress at your own pace. Balance is never achieved through rushing and striving. A calm peaceful mind and perseverance enhance your success in yoga as well as in life.