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Bellows Breath or Breath of Fire

BENEFITS OF BREATH OF FIRE or BELLOW BREATH:
Energizes, revitalizes, and recharges the entire nervous system by flooding it with a fresh supply of oxygen and energy. Brings mental clarity and alertness, massages the abdominal organs, and stimulates digestion and elimination. Strengthens the diaphragm, heart, and nerves. Removes toxins and stale air from the lungs.

1. Begin in a comfortable seated position with the spine straight. Take a few deep breaths and relax.
2. Allow your arms to accompany the breath by raising them overhead, fingertips extending upward, while you inhale through the nostrils.
3. Exhale through the nostrils as you swiftly bring the arms down, with the elbows bent and tucked into your sides, clenching your hands into fists.
4. Begin with a slow, deliberate rhythm, gradually picking up the pace as you synchronize inhalations and exhalations with the movement of your arms.
5. On your last inhalation, hold the breath in and extend your arms overhead with your fingers interlaced, index fingers pointing upwards. Hold the breath as long as possible.
6. When you release the breath, allow your arms to float down to your sides as you focus your awareness on the forehead with your eyes closed.
7. You can do the Breath of Fire without raising your arms up. You may want to place your hands on your belly.

SPECIAL NOTES:
a. Practice Complete Breath first, before Bellows Breath or Breath of Fire, so your lungs are warmed up.
b. Do one or two cycles of 20 – 40 expulsions.
c. The exhalation and inhalation are no deeper than a sniffle.
d. If you find that you are short of breath, or you feel dizzy, stop and rest.
e. If you are having difficulty with the rhythm of breathing, place your hands on your abdomen and press your belly in during the exhalation.
f. Be sure to keep your chest and rib cage lifted off the diaphragm. Relax your shoulders and facial muscles.

CONTRAINDICATIONS:
Menstruation, pregnancy, colitis, cancer in the abdominal region, recent surgery, untreated high blood pressure, emphysema or other severe lung conditions, hernia.

BREATHE