In this video, we will instruct you how to find your breath during meditation and guide you through breathing exercises.
LET’S GET REAL
For a lot of us, simply remembering to breathe while seated is a feat.
Once you find your comfort in how your physical body is arranged, finding a flow with your breath will help remove the focus from what’s going on physically and deepen your internal connection.
SLOW DOWN, FIND A RHYTHM
The average adult breathes between 12 and 20 breaths per minute.
One of the most beneficial practices to use to begin to connect with your breath is to consciously work to breathe from the bottom to the top of your lungs, and to slow down the rate at which you breathe.
This practice is called deep rhythmic breathing.
Some teachers coach their students to slow down their breath to as few as 4 to 8 breaths per minute.
What is important is finding a depth in your inhale and a length in your exhale that is confortable in and for your body, flowing without constraint or struggle.
Of any breath practice, this is the most accessible and most beneficial for mind body and soul and to deepen a mindfulness practice.
Here are a few ways to be more conscious of your breath:
1) Bring depth and comfort with your breath into your meditation through deep, slow, counted breaths. Set a timer. 5 or 10 minutes is a great place to start. Find your comfortable seat. Close your eyes and take a couple deep breaths. Then, begin to count.
Breathe in – 1.
Breathe out – 1.
Breathe in – 2.
Breathe out – 2.
When your timer stops, consider how many breaths you have taken. This practice not only gets you thinking about breathing, but also can create an awareness of how fast – or how slow – your breath cycle goes.
FOLLOWING YOUR BREATH
2) Once you’ve found your rhythm and have a practice built around the pace and depth of breathing that is sustainable throughout your seated meditation, you can shift your awareness to how your breath moves through your body.
It’s a sweet practice in watching how your breath and energy naturally flows through your body.
For this practice, as you inhale, watch how your breath naturally moves through your body.
Does it expand your chest? Does it move to your belly? Can you feel it moving down to your fingertips, your toes?
This is one layer deeper in your journey into awareness.
MOVING BREATH IN YOUR BODY
3) A third breath practice that we love for meditation is consciously moving the breath through your body.
On your inhale, first allow the breath to fill your lungs – right to the top. Slowly exhale, squeezing out every ounce of that breath.
On your next inhale, move the breath to your belly.
Allow the complete breath to touch every inch of your midsection, fully expanding it.
Slowly exhale, gently contracting your stomach to coax the complete breath out.
You can use this practice to move breath to any part of your body that feels tight, sticky, or that could simply use a little love. For example, breathing into your heart can soften you in times of stress or if you’re feeling angry.