Breath of Fire – Pranayama Series

Breath of Fire – Pranayama Series

Articles Blog


Hello everyone and welcome to Yoga with Adriene.
I’m Adriene. Just kidding guys. It’s me and Happy Halloween. Today we’re going to learn
a breath practice called Kapalbhati. This is an amazing breath practice that’s so yummy
for you. It’s cool because Kapal in Sanskrit means skull, and Bhati means shine or lumen.
So people often refer to this breath as skull shine. Amazing, right. Or skull luster. But
some of us good old fashioned yogis just call it the plain old breath of fire. So hop on
the mat and let’s begin. All right. So to begin our Pranayama practice
today, we’re going to some to a nice comfortable seat. I’m suggesting a nice cross-legged position
or a little Siddhasana but you can also practice this in a chair or on the couch or in bed
or on a… was trying to do a Dr. Seuss thing. Okay. For Kapalbhati breath, come to a nice
comfortable seat. We’re going to sit up nice and tall and we’re going to break it down
here a little bit. So we’re going to begin by just bringing the hands to the lower belly.
So this is a fast-paced rhythm breath, but we’re going to begin by just checking in with
the nature of our breath. So if you’re new to Pranayama practice or
new to yoga, or sometimes it’s just a great reminder, in yoga, we really encourage a breath
that moves down as you inhale, fills the belly with air, and then travels up and out as you
exhale. So I’m trying to keep it nice and simple here. But it can be a little complicated
if you’re used to breathing in, sucking air up and in. If you smoke or you’re a smoker,
you know what I’m talking about, it’s that sucking up and in, and this is very common,
whether you smoke or not. But we should all quit smoking. Quit smoking. Let’s all do it
together. Another conversation there. No toxic thoughts. But that’s a great example. You’re sucking
in and lifting up. Try to open your mind to dropping that breath down into the lower belly.
So we’re going to bring the hands to lower belly, and imagine the diaphragm or the lower
belly dropping and breathing into that area of the body. And then as you exhale, the belly
and the navel comes in and we go ahead and visualize the breath coming in and out the
nose or mouth. So if you’re just like, what the what? Sometimes you just need to practice
and experience it to get the hang of it. So we take a deep breath in, and then we let
it go any which way. On your next inhale, imagine the breath traveling down, down, down
to the lower belly. Lower belly expands and on the exhale, we draw the navel in and we
imagine that breath coming in and out through the nose or mouth. So a couple times on your
own. Inhale, breath travels down as we sip it in, belly expands, exhale, navel draws
in. We push all the air out. Inhale in and exhale out. One more time. Inhale. Imagine
filling that lower belly with air. Breath drops down. Exhale, navel draws in. Breath
travels in and out the mouth. So in my public classes, I always try to get
people to see the breath. Close your eyes and see that visualization of the breath traveling
down on the inhale. It does this sweet little Olympic somersault and then it comes up and
out on the exhale. So the reason I bring this up as we learn Kapalbhati breath is that’s
kind of the yogic way that we breath, and kind of learning to engage the breath with
the body, that way is a really important part of, I think, the yoga practice and Kundalini
practice as well. So this is a Kundalini breath where we actually
flip that. Some people call it a paradoxical breath, but instead of the inhale being active,
the exhale is. True to other Pranayama videos we’ve done, this can also be a little bit
hard to explain. So I’ll do my best and then we’ll just practice together and see what
happens. So for Kapalbhati, we need to step nice and tall. We’ll bring the hands to the
lower belly again. Take a sip of air in through the nose and exhale, draw the belly in. Inhale
in. Exhale out. Inhale in. Out through the lips. Inhale in. Belly expands. Exhale out.
So we’re starting to get the hang of it here. Now we’re going to begin to speed it up, which
is what this particular technique requires. We move in a fast paced rhythm, and eventually
we’ll be able to grow this Pranayama practice so that we can do this for longer periods
of time. This is a powerful technique. Very therapeutic, but you might notice a little
lightheadedness or a little dizziness as you start to kind of dig in. So that’s normal.
When you start to feel that way, you might take a rest, even if I haven’t cued it. As
always, listen to your body and let your breath really speak to you. Okay. So sit up nice and tall. We’re going
to speed it up this time. So the inhale is passive this time. The exhale is active. And
we are seeking this sort of pumping breath. This nice pumping rhythm. Okay. Sit up nice
and tall. Hands come to belly. Let’s go ahead and roll the shoulders forward up and back
and release my bad jokes. Okay. We inhale in deeply. Exhale completely, and we begin
Kapalbhati. Take a deep breath in and exhale. Let the
practice go. All right. Notice how you feel after your first round, and we’ll take a moment
to go a little deeper. Okay. So hands on the belly allow us to really target just this
navel chakra area. If you’re new to the practice, chances are it’s kind of hard to center the
energy on this area of the body. You might notice your shoulders moving up or the rest
of your body. In time, see if you can isolate this part of the body. Really great for the
organs here and so good for the nervous system, and it takes practice. So if you feel like
you’re going at first, it’s completely normal and it takes practice. Another thing is, you might have noticed,
for me I took a couple of breaths in and out, in through the nose and out through the mouth
just to get started, but you want to transition into in and out through the nose for this
breath. Super yummy. All right. So let’s practice again. Inhale, rolling the shoulders forward,
up, and exhale, drawing them down and back. Find a soft focus here. Just maybe pass the
nose here or you can close your eyes and roll your gaze up to the third eye. We’re all at
different levels here, so find something that works for you. I think definitely softening
the gaze, even if you’re looking at the video, just kind of softening the eyelids helps focus. Here we go. Deep breath in to start. Long,
complete exhale out. And we begin. Keep going. Keep your rhythm. Find your rhythm. And release.
Take a deep breath in and exhale. Close your eyes here. Don’t look at the video. Just take
a moment here. Maybe flip the palms up to notice how you feel. Get that yoga high going.
All right. Last time. If you’re feeling like, whoo, skully lumen, Adriene, then just take
a moment here in meditation pose to observe, or you can pause the video now and take just
a moment to chill. Chill pill here. Otherwise, we’re going to crawl into one more round together. Okay. Here we go. Inhale, looping the shoulders
forward, up, and on the exhale drawing them down and back. This time, if you’re returning
to this video, you might try bringing the palms together at the heart Anjali Mudra,
or if you’re still new to the practice, I often still practice with hands on the belly.
You might try a different Mudra here. Make it your own. Have a little fun. Okay. Here
we go. Whenever you’re ready, we’ll begin. And release.
Once again, take the quiet moment here to notice how you feel. I definitely feel it
from the crown of my head, all the way through the soles of my feet. Then we’ll slowly bat
the eyelashes open and let it go. All right, my friends. That was Kapalbhati breath, or
breath of fire. I encourage you to return to this practice once or twice a week. This
is one of those things where with practice, it really begins to become like second nature.
Also, if you had a weird experience and you felt like you were doing this the whole time,
totally normal. This is one of those Pranayamas where you kind of have to get out of your
own way, and if you think about it too much, it’s kind of impossible. So practice, practice,
practice, my friends. Lots of yummy benefits I’m going to list on the blog from this Pranayama
practice. Really great for the immune system. Really balancing of the nervous system. Really
great if you’re trying to quit something, quit a bad habit or you’re addicted to something.
This is a great tool that you can supplement into your journey there too as well. So more
on that on the website. As always, leave questions, comments below. Have a happy and safe Halloween.
Find lots of treats and a few tricks too. Okay. Take care everyone. I’m going to put
this guy on because guess what? We’re twinsies. Look at this. Look at this meta yoga shit.
Namaste everyone.

100 thoughts on “Breath of Fire – Pranayama Series”

  1. nice one. however if you follow famous yoga guru Ramdev , he says not to do it too fast but one exhalation per second . however doing fast is good for weight loss though . another thing is to imagine that with each exhalation i am letting go off all my worries , negativities and diseases from my body is getting thrown out. if you do it with that concious imagination it will be even powerful.

  2. So I felt as though my inhale was stronger than the exhale and then I had to consciously exhale big t start from a small diaphragm. Is this the idea to stay with a small amount of air in the belly? Thanks

  3. Great video nicely explained.

    Health is Wealth… Humble request to everyone, please make a habit to spare at least 30 mins everyday to do Yoga/Exercise. You don't need to spend bucks on gym/equipment/ clothing / etc. for yoga. you can simply do in your night ware/pajamas as well. It's all about habit and anything that is done for couple of weeks is adapted by our body
    as habit.
    The breathing exercise will help improving your immune system, blood circulation besides many other benefits and one most important is control on mind/thoughts making you more focused, determined, concentrated with feel good factor and positive vibes.

    Follow series from Adriene who nicely explains different yoga asnas and techniques. At last you all are most welcomed in India for professional Yoga/Meditation learning. You can visit either Rishikesh or Haridwar in Uttrakhand state, or Kerla, Karnatka states in India having very good ashrams aka schools.

  4. Love your videos Adrienne. Just could not start my practice as I am a working mother of two toddlers and i have erratic sleep schedule due to my younger son.

  5. Yoga True Day 5 brought me here. I’ve never learned this Breath of Fire practice before! I’m a professional singer and choir director, and this seemed impossible—“how can she keep on exhaling for so long?” I didn’t realize she was inhaling for every exhale. Now I get it and can practice! Thanks Adriene for this crazy meta yoga shit. We love you! ❤️🧘🏻‍♀️💩🙃

  6. You're so funny!!!!! 😉 You make doing yoga so much more awesome and I look forward to it now. Thanks, Adriene!

  7. Had to pause the video, refocus a few times….I’m a major overthinker so this is good practice for me. No toxic thoughts. 💜☮️ 🙂 thank you

  8. I am so grateful for technology as it captures a snapshot into your journey – I am watching and practicing this nearly 4 years after it is posted and I see how far you have come on YOUR journey as I progress on my own. It is very inspiring 🙂 namaste and thank you, thank you, thank you you bring so much peace to my life

  9. Hai Adreine….

    I am one of your million subscribers🙂 I totally in love with way you make the yoga listenable!

    I’m trying adopt some yoga concepts from your videos and Kapalbathi is one of them….

    I am practising it from a month and I’m feeling dry throat during the practise and through out the day…..

    Is that ok??

    Thank you for all your videos dear🙏🏼

  10. Look at this meta yoga shit! Lmao. I've been practicing with you for a while and I can't believe I missed this one! It's sooooooooo important. I've done the Wim Hoff method for pranayama occasionally for a while but this is way more practical. Thanks always!

  11. Wow! Good one. I'm familiar with this practice but you made it feel new. I even found some buoyant in the 2nd round. Namaste!

  12. Kapalbhati
    Kapal-forehead
    Bhati-shine
    You never inhale or exhale from your mouth in most of the pranayams since it dries up your salivary gland and may affect your thyroid as well.
    Secondly this ain't 'the breath of fire". Breath of fire is ujjai pranayam.
    You really seem to be sincere but you need to dig deeper!
    Keep up the good work!

  13. Long time watcher first time commenter. Would you ever consider sharing a Kundalini practice? I found one with another yoga teaching online but I missed the dad jokes and Benji. 🙁

  14. Definitely will be incorporating more of this into my practice weekly! Thank you Adriene. Namaste.

  15. I have a big problem
    Get this
    I inhale =stomach gets sucked in
    I exhale =stomach relaxed

    I just noticed this cause it's my first time practicing yoga

    Am I in trouble

  16. WHAT IS THIS SEASONING PART GOT TO DO WITH ANYTHING YOU JUST PRACTICED I SWEAR I DONT UNDERSTAND

  17. I'm gonna watch this every Halloween now! This one is my favorite pranayama! I really feel so chill afterwards! Thank you Adriene!

  18. Gaynor Starprincess 🙂 <3I love pranyana sooo mich !! 🙂 <D I want to stop smoking and i really believe this could be of some help !! Meta yaga shit for shaow 😛 hehe

  19. More than Yoga I started following Adriene for improving positive attitude. You are always with full of positive energy, it is truely inspiring

  20. Just had a panic attack 🙁 and this help me so much i feel so grounded and peaceful yummines all over my body speacially my tommy hhhh love u adrienne <3

  21. I think for begginners giving the breath a color helps visualize it going in and following it down into the abdomen. Usually they will pick a color that coordinates with how they feel. Maybe use that to help newbies.

  22. 06:20 burst into laughter with you! Maybe your cutest video ever! I tried, but could never learn Kapalbhati from any Indian video and any other yoga channel.. Thanks for this! ❤️

  23. I LOL' ed at the end Adriene,
    "this meta yoga shit!"
    X^D
    my goodness you are precious darling
    <3
    see you all on the mat tomorrow,
    bless up eh from the Farm
    8^)

  24. That was great. ty! I recommend for people trying to focus on the breathing area that are feeling too "mobile" everywhere else to press between the lips to ground the rest of the body.

  25. I came here from day 9 dedicate, because I wasn't sure I understood it right, and even after this I still can't do it right I think, but it's nice! I kinda feel like I'm choking up on something though, this shows how wrong I'm doing it.

  26. Hey babe, that's awesome!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    What's the relation – if there's any – of this Breath of Fire with Tummo or Bratika pranayama?

    And, would you know if theres any application of this pranayama in Tantric Sex – maithuna – or Tao of Love? I mean, when making love. Such energizing pratice, with the partner, in the moment of greatest extasi and sharing, when everything is flowing an the two became one… I don't know, It's just feels right for me. That must increases the orgasmic power, the orgastic energy, enough to reverse the river's flow and makes the dragon ascend to the sky… Or the Kundalini.

    I mean, the rythm just fits preciselly to the hip thrust movement, the Thousand Loving Thrusts. As the hip moves forward, the dantien and the pelvic floor contract, and the air leaves the body. And, as the hip moves backwards, the air fills the dantien, and the muscles relax.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing, really awesome, really nice job, great explanation!!!

  27. I think BOF is different from Kapalabhati. The main difference is in the length and nature of the inhale. In BOF they are the same length. In Kapalabhati the exhale is longer and the inhale is passive; essentially it happens on its own.

  28. Thank you for this tutorial, Adriene! I am a long time yoga practitioner and have never gotten the hang of breath of fire. I cannot do it as fast and always run out of air. I will keep practicing though!

  29. I am doing the Dedication 30 day journey and day 9 you recommended this! Hilarious! 🤣 it’s been years since I’ve done breath of fire and this video is funny and useful! Thank you! PS I love that I can always expect a good laugh with your classes… laughter heals the soul!

  30. I just started practicing this daily. I feel differently energetically and the oxygen in my body feels clean and pure. Your humor brings a happiness and joy into my heart. Thank you for your goofiness lol and this practice Adriene!

  31. I love this! But question….. Is this suppose to feel like an ab workout or am I doing something wrong? Lol

  32. Wow, felt super energized and this heat all over my body, especially on the chest area. Amazing. 💖

  33. The first set I wasn't sure I was doing it right, my abs muscles started to burn and my lower back start to hurt, then the second set I catch up the way to do it. My lungs pain feel a bit relief. Thank you Adriene, always love your yoga practice

  34. I also do a prana exercise called Bastrika (The bellows) were you do 3 rounds of 25 breaths done really fast, usually before I go on to alternate nostril breathing. I am a 66yr old man who spent 20 yrs in India from 38 to 58, I worked there and was lucky enough to find a great hatha yoga teacher who did one on one classes for 9o mins a day. I still do a 1-hour programme every day in the mornings but since finding your great site I usually pick out one of your videos and do that in the evenings before bed, adding your knowledge to my own. To any who do not realise, Adriene is a great teacher and how lucky we are that she has put her knowledge on the net so we can all benefit from it! Big love to you Adriene Ji and Namascar from Steve (That's me!)

  35. I needed this today. I was lucky enough to join you at Red Rocks last weekend. It was so amazing to share that experience with so many people. Thanks for the YWA fam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *