Taught by Yogi Bhajan on 2/20/78
This meditation may only be done with a completely empty stomach.
Posture: Sit in Easy Pose with your hands resting on your knees, palms down. Keep your spine straight, lift your ribcage, and expand your ribcage all around, making your chest area as expanded as you comfortably can.
This expansion gives the lungs "room to breathe." With the chest lifted, the chin can automatically rest in the hollow at the base of the neck (chin lock). "You will totally feel that the rib cage and shoulder area have a feeling of separation from the lower body. The posture is very meditative when correctly done."
Eyes: The eyes are nine-tenths closed.
Breath: Inhale deeply through the nose and hold your breath in as long as you comfortably can. Exhale completely through the mouth, holding the breath out for an equal amount of time. Continue, establishing your own breath rhythm, making sure that you hold your breath in for the same amount of time that you hold your breath out.
Your own lung capacity will guide your rhythm, and once you have established it, you must maintain it. (When this meditation was taught, the inhalation was about 3 seconds, the hold in about 7 seconds, the exhalation about 3 seconds and the hold out about 7 seconds.)
The lift and spread of the rib cage must be maintained, both on the inhalation and on the exhalation. If you use your navel point to guide the exhalation, it will balance the tendency of the chest to collapse as the breath leaves the lungs. "Keep the rib cage from falling on the exhalation, this will give the lungs a powerful reaction which in itself can purify the entire material which is stuck there. It is a procedure to clean the lungs.”
Time: Continue for 15 minutes.
Hold the position, inhale (2 seconds), exhale (2 seconds), inhale (2 seconds), exhale (2 seconds). Maintain the lifted and expanded position of the ribcage and begin Breath of Fire. Continue Breath of Fire for 3 Minutes. "Breath of Fire massages the organs and the glands."
"This exercise creates the opportunity for good health. It helps the gallbladder, spleen, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is very good for the entire glandular system.
It cleans your respiratory system. It is a heavy exercise equivalent to playing a game of basketball. Try to open up the lung capacity. The lungs are the biggest organs in the body, but we don't fully use them. Many problems come from not using the lungs to capacity. The lungs keep the blood clean, and when the blood is clean the brain acts faster.
Our body is based on prana, and prana enters our body through the breath of life. Some people think air is the prana, but air is only the medium for prana, and because of this graceful medium, we live.
God has made these lungs, and, if you look at them, they are like two big mangoes hanging on one stem. Lungs are the biggest organ in the body. Their purpose is to take both the prana and the oxygen out of the air.
Oxygen purifies the blood and puts the red back in the corpuscles. If your lung capacity shrinks, the amount of oxygen you can intake will shrink, and your blood will not be cleansed well. This will expose you to infections. You have to understand that if the physical body has a problem that it can't get rid of, then it will start adjusting around the problem, and it gets more messed up.
The prana gives the life. All movements in the body are because of the prana. If oxygen alone can do it, then every problem is solved. We just put a cylinder of oxygen on the back of a person and he will live. No, it doesn't work that way. The contact of the Cosmic Body with the physical body is very unique.
God has given you this life as a gift. According to pranic law, there is 'x' amount of pranic energy which the body has for its use. You can use up this pranic energy in one day and die tomorrow, or you can use it in 50 - 60 years. It depends upon that breath of life. So long as the pranas are given to you, live, enjoy, and relax."
©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
This exercise can be found in Praana, Praanee, Praanayam, available from KRI.