Jess here, Naturmend’s Meditation consultant, and I’ve had breathing on my mind these days. On the surface, it seems simple; it is natural human instinct to breathe, as you do it all day every day. You do it without even thinking about. But what if you did think about it? We will experiment there shortly. The breath is your anchor to life; the very first thing you do when you come into the world and the very last thing you do before you leave the world. As there are many breaths in between those moments, it is beneficial to become conscious of your own breathing patterns. The breath can help soothe the nervous system, help you to relax before falling asleep, help to regulate you in times of distress, and can help to ease discomfort or pain by directing the breath towards said discomfort or pain. Conscious breathing can become habitual, primarily when practiced during calm or regulated states. In time, you will be able to utilize the breath with ease during challenging times. Now let’s experiment.
Pause and take a moment here to reflect on your inhalations and exhalations. Are they:
- Shallow, or deep?
- Light and airy, or heavy?
- Steady, or shaky,
- Jagged, or smooth?
- Something entirely different?
Please know that anything that came to mind is the right answer! Simply becoming aware of your breath is only the beginning. Know that your breath will change from moment to moment, hour to hour, day to day. Learning to become conscious of your breath is key to any kind of meditation practice. Listed below are a few suggestions to guide you in connecting to your breath. Find a comfortable seat and give one a try. Perhaps set a timer for 2-3 minutes, to allow you to focus on your breath and not the time. If and when the mind wanders, know that it is okay, and simply return to the breath.
- Simple breath retention: Breathe in, to a count of 3; hold to a count of 1; breathe out to a count of 3; hold for a count of 1. Repeat several times. Feel free to increase the count if you wish to elongate your inhales and exhales, just be sure to keep the count a consistent ratio.
- Body awareness: Breathe in, feel your chest expand with air; breathe out, allow your shoulders to relax away from your ears. Or, breathe in, fill your stomach with air; breathe out, release any tension you feel in your neck/back/etc. Repeat until you feel your breath begin to steady, or your tension begin to release, even the tiniest touch.
- Breath counting: As you inhale, breathe in and count “1”; as you exhale, breathe out and count “1”. Count up to 5 and then from 5 back down to 1. If you happen to lose track, simply begin again at 1.
You have one thousand four hundred and forty minutes you are gifted with each and every day. What if you made the choice to take just a few of those for yourself each day, to simply sit and consciously connect to your breath?
Book a 15-minute free consultation with me to ask your questions and let me help guide you to creating a sustainable, individual practice that works for you and your life.
Jess is a certified meditation practitioner specializing in guiding you to help your mind and body find harmony through individualized sessions specifically tailored to you. She is multi-discipline trained in qigong, meditation, mindfulness and yoga. Specializing in a unique approach designed upon years of research and practice, she aims to guide you into taking time out of your busy day to re-discover your body and your mind. She’s here to support you in learning how to begin or deepen your meditation practice. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment with Jess, please contact us or book your appointment online.