Breathing Exercises

Correct breathing is important in meditation as it is with other practises such as Yoga, Pilates, and Martial Arts etc. It helps to calm the mind and to retain focus.

As you begin meditation practice and focus on your breathing, you will find initially, that your mind wanders and you become distracted on other things. The more you practise the less this will happen, but if you do find that yourself getting distracted, simply brush the thoughts aside and bring your focus back to your breathing.

Breathe through your nostrils and from the diaphragm, not the lungs. As babies will breath properly from the diaphragm but as we get older we tend to cheat and breathe from the lungs, which is incorrect. Again, as we practise this technique, it will become habitual.

Exercise 1

• Find a quiet location where you will not be disturbed
• Sit cross legged on a cushion with your back straight
• Close your eyes and place your hand on your stomach
• Concentrate on your breath, breathing in and out through your nose
• Breathing to and from the diaphragm, your stomach will expand on breathing in and contract as you breathe out.
• Pause for 2 seconds after each inhalation and each xhalation
• Practise this technique until it becomes natural

Exercise 2

• Again, sitting cross legged  with your eyes closed, focus on your breath
• On inhaltion, feel the breath entering into and through your nostrils
• Focus on the air as it passes your throat, passed your lungs and into your diaphragm and feel your body expanding
• Hold for 2 seconds bfore beginning exhalation
•As you exhale, experience the breath leavingyour diaphragm, passing your lungs, into your throat and brushing passed your nostrils and out
•As you exhale, feel all the pressures and worries dissipate from your body
•Hold for 2 seconds and be aware of complete stillness and clear mind befor repeating

If you are patient and maintain practise, the barrage of constant distractions will gradually subside and the feeling of inner peace and a quiet mind will become natural. Practise this breathing exercise for a minimum of ten minutes per day and eventually you will take back control of your life and eradicate the stress and turmoil.

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