The mindful breath
Most of the meditations I lead begin with a breath practice. By beginning this way, we sync the body and your breath. Muscles relax, the mind calms, you feel safe, and eventually you feel anchored into the space and peace settles in.
How to Breathe Mindfully: The Basics
There are numerous breathing exercises we can explore that entail controlling the breath in different manners and patterns. While there are numerous benefits of these techniques, mindful breathing can be made much simpler than this. Mindful breathing requires us to pay attention to the breath exactly as it is.
To practice mindful breathing:
Begin by getting comfortable either seated or lying down, ensuring your back and neck are supported so your body can relax with more ease.
Take a moment to ground yourself into your space by closing your eyes and noting the presence of the room you are in. Notice the air against your skin - what does it feel like? Are your feet touching the floor - what does this feel like? What does it feel like to breathe deep into your own body?
Bring awanreess to your breath moving in and out. The fall and rise of your chest and lungs. Mindfulness allows us to be, as it is, bringing observation and no judgement as you breathe in the present moment. Notice how it feels to allow whatever happens, mind wandering and all, to just be as it is.
You can lengthen the breath a bit by pausing after an inhale. Breathe in and pause (or hold) and then gently exhale. Over and over you simply hold your focus on breathing. You can practice mindful breathing anywhere - walking, running, while you collect your thoughts, when you are in traffic or late to get somewhere and even before you drift off to sleep.
Whether you have one minute or ten, practicing mindful breathing connects us to ourself and that is a beautiful practice.