If you ever feel stuck, defeated, or depleted, remember this piece of wisdom: There is a way through every block. There’s a wonderful practice called “breath of fire” that can help you move through the emotional blocks and frustrations of life, getting you back to joy.
“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” – Michelangelo
The above concept is powerful, for it suggests that the beauty is within the rubble, and the solution is within the problem. We don’t need to avoid the frustrations, eliminate mistakes, or circumvent the problems in life–we only need to find ways to move through the discomfort.
Sometimes, the treasure can’t be discovered unless we chisel our way through the block that contains it.
We can get so caught up in the negativity that’s floating around the world that we lose track of our own sense of freedom and flow.
Breath of fire is a breathing technique which involves a series of rapid inhalations and exhalations through your nose. Because the breath is a powerful anchor, breath of fire can help you face your past dilemmas, daily to-do list, and future fears with greater presence and ease.
When you release the tension in your diaphragm, you’re in effect releasing yourself from many emotional blocks.
I invite you to try breath of fire if you:
- Get hooked into thoughts that stem from, “I can’t,” “There’s not enough,” or “There’s no way.”
- Feel stressed and heated when you’re stuck in traffic.
- Experience writer’s block.
- Feel stuck in painful present emotions, past dramas or traumas, or fearful concerns for the future.
- Feel cut off from creative ideas, inspiration, natural flow, and positive energy in your work and life.
You can incorporate breath of fire into your meditation practice, but you don’t have to meditate to use this breathing technique; the point is that it’s an accessible tool for daily flow, freedom, peace, and joy.
Though it may seem a little strange at first, breath of fire can really help you harness the energy you need to move forward with more flow and freedom. It’s wonderful for releasing negativity and chiseling through the emotional blocks that keep us from enjoying any given experience.
“I know it looks a little crazy,” says spiritual teacher and speaker Gabby Berstein, “But it really works.”
Breath of Fire: a Breathing Technique for Releasing Limitation
Breath of fire is a rhythmic breath in and out the nose, which comes from a relaxed diaphragm. Gabby Bernstein likens it to “deep sniffing.” She shares a great video explaining how you can incorporate breath of fire into a Kundalini yoga meditation called Ego Eradicator.
Here’s how you can practice breath of fire, whether you’re sitting on your meditation pillow or sitting in morning traffic:
- Sit comfortably.
- On the inhale, your diaphragm extends.
- On the exhale, your diaphragm contracts.
- Once you get into a rhythm, speed up the breath until it becomes “breath of fire.”
- Practice for a few seconds or a few minutes.
Here are some helpful insights from Gabby:
- Try not to emphasize the exhale. The inhale and the exhale are even.
- If you feel shortness of breath, it might mean that your diaphragm is tight from stress and tension, or that you’re breathing in the opposite direction.
- Always make sure your diaphragm is relaxed.
Gabby shares that “breath of fire has many benefits beyond busting through blocks: it oxygenates and purifies the bloodstream, it stimulates the energy flow in your body, it stimulates the pituitary gland (which helps you bring all the other glands into balance), and it strengthens your electromagnetic field so that you become a magnet for greatness.”
Whenever you feel distressed, rigid, blocked from the joy of life, or overwhelmed with negativity, practice breath of fire, even if only for a few seconds. It might be the spark you need to reorganize your energy and step into the next moment with greater presence, and a smile.
- Have you tried breath of fire, and how has it worked for you?
- How do you release limitation, fear, and negativity when it’s tempting to stay in that low energy?
- Are there any other thoughts, mantras, or habits that keep you positive and uplifted?
Please share your thoughts, any experiences using breath of fire, other positive practices that help you move through emotional blocks, and any stories with me in the comments.
Share this breathing technique with someone who might try it and benefit from it.
“There is a way through every block.”
Free nature scene from Lost and Taken; lettering by Aim Happy.