WHAT IT IS
While breathing techniques or patterns are integral to many types of meditation, it is also a form of meditation in and of itself. Breathing Meditation focuses primarily on the breath as a means to clear your mind, turn inward and settle into yourself. All day and night, our bodies breath without us having to think about it. But when we shift this to a conscious and conscientious activity, we become poised to reap so many more benefits.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Different teachers may use different techniques in Breathing Meditation. This may involve long and slow deep breaths, shorter and more forceful breaths, or a combination. Breathwork may focus on the lungs or abdomen (or both). Inhaling and exhaling may use the mouth or nose (or both), sometimes in specific patterns. In certain types of pranayama, your hands or fingers may be used in a particular way for ‘alternate nostril’ breathing. Your teacher may guide you through different flows of breathing, using either your body as a gauge or counting with numbers to establish a pattern. Making a major shift in your breathing may have either a small or a profound impact on how you feel. It’s your breath, your body, and your mind – and your teacher will ensure you feel comfortable and in control at all times.
How we breathe effects every part of our body. We inhale life-sustaining oxygen, and exhale what we don’t need. In working with and becoming more aware of and in-tune with our breath, from autonomic to controlled, Breathing Meditation harnesses healing and energizing potential and power that may translate to improvements across cognitive and cardiovascular function, anxiety, sleep and overall energy. Through the physicality of breathing – from emphasizing different parts of your abdomen or chest, to nose vs. mouth breathing – as well as the air itself that you take in and expel, pranayama can also have a powerful impact on organ function. Think of breath as one of the most readily available tools at your disposal for cleansing, detoxifying, awakening and focusing on all levels.
Inhale love. Exhale gratitude.
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