ARTICLES

Like many people I came to meditation by experimenting on my own with various techniques that were available back then on cassette tapes and not so readily available yoga classes.

Some things worked and some did not. Other techniques made me feel frustrated and tenser then I was before I tried them. The techniques I found that worked consistently to bring clarity and silence to the mind were conscious deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques that use breath.

In every day life we pay very little attention to our breathing and take it for granted. Our breath is always present with us and we don’t need to think to breathe. As our overactive minds take over, our breathing becomes shallow. As a result of shallow breathing the level of our available physical energy drops. This in turn effects how aware and present we are in every day life.

Just notice what happens to your breathing when your mind is fully engaged and overactive. The breath practically disappears. It becomes shallow and moves up to the top of your chest. You start to breathe only enough to survive. You become ungrounded and disconnected from your life force. It’s no secret that deep breathing is synonymous with being fully alive, present and creative.

Deep breathing helps up fully engage in life, release stress from our physical bodies and mind and look deeper into who we truly are.

It is very simple yet very effective and beneficial to use breath as a meditation technique.

There are few simple breath exercises that can help you reconnect with yourself, increase your overall energy level and relieve stress.

Here’s one simple meditation technique that will help you open up your physical body and connect with the silence within you.

Make sure you’re in quiet room where you will not be disturbed by loud sounds and other people. Dim the lights, light your favorite incense.

Using these little touches sets the atmosphere for the meditation to happen more easily.

Sit or lie down comfortably and allow yourself to feel the weight of your body sinking into the cushion or your floor mat.

As you feel the effects of gravity start to work in your body, bring your attention to your breathing. At first notice where in your body the breath travels naturally. It may be just in your upper chest or maybe it moves deeper down in your belly. For a few minutes just observe the natural flow of your breath and the movement that happens in your body as the breath comes in and out. As you get more comfortable with watching the movement of your breath, let your lower jaw drop so the breathing can shift to flow deeply and evenly in and out through your open mouth. As you deeply and fully breathe let the gap between your in-breath and out-breath disappear. This is called ‘Connected Breathing’. The in-breath is flowing into out-breath, out-breath is flowing into in-breath without any pause in between. At first do not rush with your breath. Become comfortable with this kind of deep breathing. It could be very powerful and can begin to produce the results very quickly.

After you notice the natural flow of breath in your body try to consciously bring your breathing to a lower part of your body. A space between your diaphragm and your pubic bone. Notice that your chest is also involved in your breath. So the breath is moving in a smooth wave of movement that travels through your body as a wave in the sea.

Stay breathing this way for at least 15-20 minutes and then slowly relax your breath let yourself completely let go into the emptiness that has been created in your mind and deep relaxation that comes as a result.

The relaxation part should be at last 20-30 minutes. In this part of the meditation we can experience a total let go and a state of no-mind.

The breathing part is just preparation for this experience of being present as pure awareness.

This special deep breathing technique has been around for hundreds of years and is present in many cultures around the globe. It is used to access the state of meditation and explore our unconscious mind.

Your emotions and feelings may start to surface. If that happens do not deny yourself the experience of fully feeling and experiencing. Let it flow.

It can be very powerful for those who are very new to working with deep breathing techniques. So, please use caution when practicing it.

You may experience various body sensations like tingling and sensations of inner movements of energy and even slight cramping in your hands and fingers. Do not be alarmed. Try to include everything into your experience and stay with it as long as possible. Allow at least 40 minutes for this breath meditation.

Enjoy this simple and powerful meditation technique.

By Giten Tonkov,
creator and developer of BioDynamic Breath & Trauma Release System.
Co-Director and Co-Founder of European Institute of Body-Oriented Healing Arts