As essential as Prayer is Purification. In fact, the word Sufism (tasawwuf) means ‘purification.’ If you are new to the Sufi path, these two practices are a good place to begin. Each morning, before meditation, we recommend washing your hands and face, saying the Morning Prayers, and then doing the following breath practice as an act of purification.*

General Instructions

It is prescribed that this cycle of breaths be done every morning, if possible outside or in front of an open window. Stand upright in a comfortable position, feet slightly apart, hands at your side, palms forward.

Earth Breath: In the nose, out the nose (5x), visualizing the color gold.

Water Breath: In the nose, out the mouth (5x), visualizing the color green.

Fire Breath: In the mouth, out the nose (5x), visualizing the color red.

Air Breath: In the mouth, out the mouth (5x), visualizing the color blue.

Ether Breath: In the nose, out the nose, very refined (5x), visualizing the color grey, or imaging transparency.

If you wish to add another dimension to the practice, you may silently say Ya Shafee (the Healer) on the in-breath, and Ya Kafee (the Remedy) on the out-breath.


* Hazrat Inayat Khan taught four breaths for the first four elements. The fifth, Ether breath, is derived from the Zira’at practices, one of our Five Activities. Additional instruction, if desired, can be given by one of the Spiritual Guides within the Inayati Order.