Breath of fire is a breath pattern fundamental to the practice of kundalini yoga. It is a breathing technique that students often tell me they struggle to master. It is however with a little focus quite straightforward to master the basic technique and if followed with a little practice students soon find themselves mastering the correct rhythm.
Breath of fire is essentially a short sharp breath through the nose and on the exhale you consciously pull the navel back towards the spine. On the inhale you relax the muscles of the navel, which allows the navel to expand and naturally draws breath back into the body. It helps to begin with, to place the hand on the belly to feel the movement of the navel with the breath. It is important to keep the focus on the exhale and remember that the inhale is a passive breath. Once the basic technique is mastered (start slow), students can then gradually increase the rhythm to two breaths per second.
Breath of fire should be replaced with long slow deep breathing during pregancy and the first day or so of menstruation. If you start to feel dizzy at any time then simply revert back to a long slow deep breath.
This is a very powerful and deeply energising breath that connects us with the qualities of the third chakra, the navel centre. The breath connects us with our fire, with qualitites such as stamina, commitment, focus, vitality and gives us to power to manifest our goals.