Breath Control

Breath Control & Yoga Pranayama Book – Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise – Ch 1

Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama

Yoga Breathing Exercise #1: The Breath of Fire


Free Online Yoga Video of Breath of Fire



Video is from the article: Breath of Fire Video – Free Online Yoga Videos

What Is The Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:

The first Yoga breathing exercise we will explore lies at the heart of Kundalini Yoga practice, it is the  legendary Breath of Fire Yoga Pranayama.

As mentioned above this breathing exercise is absolutely essential to the practice of Kundalini Yoga.  The roots of this pranayama are impossible to trace but I would like to thank my teacher Ravi Singh under whose expert guidance I learned this technique.

Breath Control

Tools Required for Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:   

Just your nose :-D.

Benefits of Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:


  • 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.
  • Syncronizes 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.

Cautions for Practicing Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:

  • If you feel dizzy when practicing Breath of Fire, you should stop and substitute normal breathing.  If you suffer from vertigo, you should use caution in practicing this breathing exercise.
  • If you are menstruating you should not practice Breath of Fire, use Long Deep Breathing instead.
  • You should be careful practicing Breath of Fire if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or suffer from stroke or epilepsy.  Also, if you have acid or heat related gastric issues such as ulcers you should use caution.

How To Do Basic Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:

  • To practice this breathing exercise sit up in a comfortable position.
  • Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention.  This will align the spine with the back of your head.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Rest your hands in any comfortable position.
  • Relax your stomach muscles.
  • Now begin to breathe rapidly through the nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation.  It will be like very fast sniffing.  Keep the breath shallow, just at the tip of the nose.  Proceed at a comfortable pace and establish a steady rhythm.  Pay no special attention to the chest or diaphragm other that staying relaxed.  You will find the stomach pulses on its own in rhythm to the breath.  That’s it, continue for 1 minute.

How To Do Intermediate Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:

  • Perform the breathing at a faster pace.
  • Increase the duration of the exercise to 3 minutes

How To Do Advanced Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:

  • Build up the pace and power with which you do the breathing.
  • Build up the time for this pranayama to 11 minutes.

Secret of Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Pranayama:

So the trick question is, “How many breaths are you taking when doing the breath of fire yoga pranayama”?  This will be of some special concern to those who believe in the idea that each of us is born with a preset number of breaths and once we finish our quota – the fat lady sings.  So for those folks it would be rather alarming to practice this exercise regularly, as they would be drastically reducing their life span – but, thankfully they need not worry.  The beauty of this breathing exercise, aside from its lengthy list of benefits, is that it registers to the brain as only 1 breath.  So put your worries aside and enjoy the practice of this pranayama which I have found to be one of the real gems of Kundalini Yoga.

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137 replies
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  1. Chris
    Chris says:

    This is simply the most powerful spiritual development website ive experience….Thank You for sharing this enlightment w/ us.

  2. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Rupal,

    Great to hear you are doing pranayama practice on a daily basis. You will not regret it. Just start slow and build up gently.

    Breath of Fire emphasizes equal pressure on inhalation and exhalation, and does not force the breath via the diaphragm like Kapalbhati, which also emphasizes only exhalation.

    Stick to the 3 you are currently doing. It is a very good combo. Later when you start doing Kundalini Yoga exercises, you should then incorporate Breath of Fire as it is given here into your routine.

    Sometime Kapalbhati or even Bhastrika are called Breath of Fire, but it is not the same obviously as the Breath of Fire from Kundalini Yoga that I am describing here.

    Keep Going!


  3. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Alejandro,

    No you can practice this pranayama (or others on the website) w/o mastering yogic breath. Just make sure you start off slowly and build up gently.


  4. Rupal
    Rupal says:

    Hi Anmol,

    This is great information! I recently became very interested in Pranayam and practice Kapalbhati, Bhastrika and Anilom-Vilom daily for 15 minutes in the morning. I love doing Kapalbhati, it feels great and feel the energy inside of me whirling around.

    Kapalbhati and Breath of Fire appear similar. Do they have similar benefits? Is one better than the other if I were to do it as a daily pranayam?

    Thanks for the wealth of info!

  5. Alejandro
    Alejandro says:

    Hi Anmol,
    Pranayama books give you the advice to master the complete yogi breath before moving on to “real” pranayama. I would like to know if this is the case in connection with this specific breathing exercise. Thanks in advance.

  6. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Denis,

    Yes, it takes a bit of time but it will come. Biggest issue is you are breathing in a little too much, or out a little too much which then throws off the rhythm and requires you to reset.

    Also be sure that your diaphragm is relaxed throughout.


  7. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Vignes,

    I would suggest Zazen (Zen Meditation Practice). Panic attacks and fear have associated breath patterns and practicing breath awareness meditation can help you remain more calm during these times.

    Also read the following article by Osho. It helped me a lot… as attitude has a lot to do with fear and anxiety.

    Osho Quote on Courage

    Finally also practice the following Kundalini Yoga exercise…

    Kundalini Yoga Exercise for Fighting Fear

    Hope this helps.


  8. vignes
    vignes says:

    What is the best practice to follow if one constantly suffers from panic attacks and fear?

    thank you very much.

  9. Dennis
    Dennis says:

    I just started this and I’m struggling to keep my rhythm. I start off well for about 40s, then I guess I get tired or something because I couldn’t maintain the same rhythm.

    I guess I need more training?

  10. ally b
    ally b says:

    really excellent information, thanks anmol. i have been reading about this practice for years, and and in classes it has never been taught to me as well as your video did. thanks so much!

    please keep up with the kundalini yoga lessons


  11. srini
    srini says:

    I’d like to know what Pranayama exercises I should follow to keep my cholesterol levels in balance. I have very high LDL/triglycerides & I’d like to reduce them with diet and pranayama. For that, I’d like your help!!

  12. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Loribeth,

    Normally for a particular exercise where the breath of fire is indicated, the duration varies and is also explicitly indicated. So you may do Stretch Pose for 2 mins w/ Breath of Fire in one set, or another set may require the same pose done for 4 mins w/ Breath of Fire.

    If you are practicing Breath of Fire by itself, start with 1 minute and build up to 3 and then to 5.

    Only a few Kundalini Meditations use BOF, and again there it should be stated how long it is to be done for.

    Be careful of generating too much heat in the body though, and if that was to happen back off from BOF.

    Hope this answers your questions.


  13. loribeth
    loribeth says:

    how long should the breath of fire last? in other words, how long to you continue with the breath of fire during a meditation? one minute? 2 minutes? is the breath of fire to be done at the beginning of a meditaiton or at the end (or middle?) Can it be done more than once during a meditation?

    thank you very much,



Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Once you come into the final posture, either do Long Deep Breathing, or do Kundalini Yoga Breath of Fire. […]

  2. Ayurveda » Blog Archive » Ayurveda Treatment for Cough & Colds: says:

    […] Another pranayama that is great for battling colds and flus, boosting internal heat, detoxifying and building your immune system is the potent Kundalini Yoga Breath of Fire Breathing Exercises. […]

  3. […] Another pranayama that is great for battling colds and flus, boosting internal heat, detoxifying and building your immune system is the potent Kundalini Yoga Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.  […]

  4. […] Breathing is normal, except if you are doing a particular Kundalini Yoga Kriya, which might require you to do Breath of Fire while holding Plank Pose. […]

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