In fact, when people ask me for advice on how to get started with meditation, I tell them to breathe. Actually, I tell them a bit more than that of course. But you’ll be amazed at how easy, quick and effective this exercise is.
Just sit quietly for 5 minutes and focus on your breath. Easy enough, isn’t it?
Anyone can manage to squeeze 5 minutes of breathing into their busy schedule, can’t they?
So let’s do some breathing right now!
How to breathe… properly
- Sit down comfortably. Preferably some place where you feel confident you won’t be disturbed for about 5 minutes.
- Close your eyes. Don’t try to control the rhythm of your breathing. Let your body decide on what’s right. It really does know best.
- Notice the subtle feelings in your nose, as air flows in and out while you breathe. Notice the difference in feeling as you slowly inhale and exhale.
- Gently shift your attention to your nasal cavities and your throat. How does the flow of air feel there? Focus on this for a couple of breaths.
- Now follow the path of your breath down your windpipe and into your lungs. Feel the gentle movements of your upper chest.
- Slowly expand your attention to your entire chest and ribcage. How does it feel when you breathe in? Simply give in to that outward push as air fills your lungs effortlessly. And let go as your upper body falls back gently when the air leaves your lungs.
- Enjoy these movements and the sensations that go with them. Enjoy the ease with which it’s all happening.
- After a while, allow your focus to shift a bit lower. Towards your abdomen. Feel how your expanding lungs gently push down on the lower half of your torso. And how everything moves back to a relaxed position as the air exits your lungs.
- Notice how softly your belly and your sides are being pushed outwards as you breathe in. And how it doesn’t take them any effort to lazily move back as you breathe out.
- Allow this feeling to grow into a wave that washes over you, with the rhythm of your breathe. Enjoy this continuous, eternal motion. Let your consciousness be carried by it.
- When it’s time to end your meditation, picture yourself walking home. Feel your feet touch the ground with each step. And gently bring your attention back to the present moment.
- If you have any trouble bringing yourself back, then simply wiggle your toes and your feet. Move your hands, slowly closing and opening them. Touch your face, as you would when you wipe fatigue or tension away.
See? That wasn’t too hard, was it? Nothing complicated. No hocus-pocus.
But I’m quite confident that you’ll feel much more relaxed, focused and centered afterwards. Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you.
Image credit: Sean Pants