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Breathwork for When There’s Pollution in the Air

Updated: Dec 5, 2023


Somebody asked me today, "Is it safe to do breathwork or pranayama when there's a lot of pollution in the air?"

I'm about an hour north of New York City.

And there's a lot of smoke in the air from fires that are happening in Canada, in Quebec, and the air quality is really, really poor.

So my answer is, "Yes."

We can do breathwork.

We can do pranayama, but we need to be mindful of making it restorative for our lungs and not stressing them.

So one breathwork practice that I really recommend, when there's a lot of pollution in the air is long, light breathing.

So what does that mean?

If you've ever seen a kid breathing, a little baby breathing, their breathing is really soft and light and continuous.

You don't want to go really, really deep with the breath.

You do want to make the breath long, and you want to make it continuous - no breaks in between the inhale and the exhale.

Just in and out.

Nice and slow and easy.

I find that it really helps to imagine like a very gentle tide or current, moving up the back of my body as I breathe in, up to the top of my head, and then breathing out as the current rolls out, as the tide rolls out, just keeping that breath really soft and light.

And, you know, just like in those fire safety videos that you may have seen when you were a kid in school, they told you to go low to the ground in the case of the fire.

So I think the same is true in case of a lot of pollution in the air.

If you do this practice lying down in what's called constructive rest position with your legs bent, hands by your side or resting on your stomach so that you're feeling a lot of stability through your pelvis, a lot of stability with your feet flat on the ground with your legs bent, I think that's a really excellent way to approach this practice.

So wishing good clean air for everyone and transformational adventures in breathwork.

See you soon!


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