Sadie Nardini (our fave badass yogi) is here with a breathing technique that will seriously change your yoga practice. If you've been breathing normally through you flow, that's fine and all, but this belly bonfire breath has so many benefits that you'll never go back. You can practice this breathing technique on its own, but when you mix it with your yoga practice, Sadie says you'll create extra inner heat, build spinal and pelvic support and stability, and optimize metabolism and digestion in ways that a regular chest-heavy yoga breath won't. That's right—all this just from breathing differently during your downward dogs.
Go ahead, give it a try while seated. Then, add it to your favorite flow (like this metabolism-boosting yoga workout).
1. Start sitting comfortably, either cross-legged, kneeling, or even sitting on the couch. Imagine that you have a flame burning at the center of your belly.
2. As you inhale, relax and breathe into your belly. Imagine the flame getting warmer, bigger, and wider, expanding into your low belly, pelvic floor, hips, and lower back.
3. Exhale, and lift the pelvic muscles in and up, as if trying to hug the flame up behind the navel.
4. You can add arm movements to help visualize the flame growing and shrinking. Start holding hands together, one stacked on top of the other and palms facing up, in front of your navel. During the inhale, bring arms out and down as if holding a large exercise ball in front of you. During the exhale, bring them back in towards your navel, one hand in a fist and the other cupping it from the bottom.
If you are feeling (and loving) the ~fire~ of the belly bonfire breath, you need to check out Sadie's 3-step yoga-meditation mash-up to cure insomnia.