At 4 a.m. I was awakened by the sounds of raccoons “making love” just off our deck. First, I’m glad I’m not a raccoon. Wow. That’s a sound I hope I never hear again. Second, those guys have stamina!

When the real start of my morning rolled around a couple hours later I felt foggy headed and fatigued. Not a good start for a day with an agenda of teaching, giving massage, and coaching. I needed my brain to be clear, my body energized.

I’m not a caffeine person. I get a little too hyped up. I considered some green tea. But first I decided to try some fire.

Breath of fire, that is.

Breath of fire is also known by its Sanskrit name, Kapalabhati. You might hear it called skull shining breath. That’s how you’ll feel after practicing it, like someone has polished up that old brain of yours.

The benefits of breath of fire:

  • More oxygen = more energy.
  • Clears mental fog.
  • Strengthens nervous system.
  • Spring-cleaning for your respiratory system.
  • Abs of fire. Try this breath for a few minutes and you’ll feel your abdominal muscles working.
  • Massage for your digestive organs.
  • Helpful prior to meditation.

Is it safe for everyone?

If you have a weakened constitution, then skip this breath.

Always listen to your body as a guide of whether this is right for you. If you feel dizzy or uncomfortable in any way you should stop. You should avoid practicing breath of fire if under the following conditions.

  • Heart disease
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Hernia
  • Respiratory issues such as acute asthma attack or emphysema
  • Vertigo
  • Stroke
  • Recent surgery
  • Digestive issues such as colitis or ulcer
  • Issues with your ears or eyes such as glaucoma or detached retina
  • Pregnancy or during menstruation (although there’s some disagreement about the second part)

If this is a new practice for you, start moderately. Try 10 rounds and notice how that feels. Then build up to one minute and longer.

BTW-It worked beautifully for me. Got rid of my raccoon hangover pronto.

Have you tried breath of fire?  Share your experience here.