Meditation Breath

When life gets hectic, your mind may become muddled with thousands of thoughts and worries. Spending a lot of time in this state of over-drive can lead to stress, which can cause many health problems. One simple way to help ease this stress and clear your mind is to practice breath meditation techniques. Breathing meditation may help you to completely relax your mind and release these worrisome thoughts. In addition, this relaxation technique can spill into other areas of your life and teach you how to better cope with stress.

As you try different breath meditation techniques, you’ll likely find that some work better than others. If you’re a beginner, start with some basic breath techniques.

Getting Started with Breath Meditation Techniques

The goal of breathing meditation is to calm the mind and develop inner peace by focusing on your breath. You can practice breath meditation techniques on their own, or as a way to control breathing and reduce distractions before practicing other types of meditation for relaxation.

Following are the steps of a basic breathing meditation exercise:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position. Adjust your body as needed; experiment with lying down and seated positions to see which work best for you. Make sure your back and spine are straight so your lungs are able to breathe easily.
  2. Clear your mind of any distractions or stressful thoughts. Let go of any lingering thoughts or problems, reassure yourself that issues will work out and clear them from your mind. Rest assured that they always do!
  3. Shift your focus to your breathing. Spend at least a minute simply noticing the rise and fall of your chest when you breathe, and the way the air passes through your nostrils. Very shortly, you may notice your mind and body starting to relax. After a while, without any real effort on your part, your breathing will naturally slow on its own.

Once you’re in the habit of practicing breathing meditation, you may begin to see how this type of meditation for relaxation can improve your overall health.

As you become more comfortable in your breathing techniques, you may wish to try more advanced methods, such as rhythmic breathing through your mouth or closing one nostril at a time, alternating breaths through them.

Benefits of Breathing Meditation

Not only can breath meditation techniques benefit you mentally, but they can improve your physical health as well. Breathing meditation can help to:

  • Clarify thoughts
  • Ease stress
  • Enhance blood circulation
  • Focus the mind
  • Discharge toxins from the body and mind
  • Increase oxygen intake to blood and organs.

You can start practicing breath meditation techniques at any age and your sessions can be as short—or long—as you choose. The best part? Breathing meditation is incorporated in other types of meditation for relaxation techniques, so this skill will benefit you in other practices, too.

Resources

Free Meditations. (n.d.). Seven steps buddhist breath meditation. Retrieved August 15, 2010, from http://www.freemeditations.com/buddhist_breath_meditation.html

How to Meditate. (n.d.). Breathing meditations.Retrieved August 15, 2010, from http://www.how-to-meditate.org/breathing-meditations.htm

Masyk-Jackson, J. (2009). Breathing meditation.Retrieved August 15, 2010, from http://meditation.suite101.com/article.cfm/breathing_meditation

McCoy, J. (n.d.). Meditation breathing techniques.Retrieved August 15, 2010, from http://www.project-meditation.org/htm/meditation_breathing_techniques.html