Meditation can be daunting and confusing, but have no fear, we are here to offer you 2 breathing techniques that take less than 10 minutes. These techniques promote relaxation, regulation, a clear mind, and a better alliance with yourself physically and mentally. These techniques are also helpful to incorporate into your yoga practice and during classes!
Life can get stressful we are here to help you find simple ways to find the calm...
This technique is known as same vritti in Sanskrit. It focuses on making your inhales and exhales the same length. The goal is make your breath smooth and steady. This brings balance and composure.
Find a breath length that is not too easy and not too difficult, and not too fast, so you can maintain it throughout your practice. Typically, it is around 3 and 5 counts of breath.
Once you get used to this technique while seated you can do it during a yoga class or other daily activities.
Choose a comfortable seated position.
Breathe in and out through your nose.
Count during each inhale and exhale to make sure they are even in duration. (Alternatively, choose a word or short phrase to repeat during each inhale and exhale.)
You can add a slight pause or breath retention after each inhale and exhale if you feel comfortable. (Normal breathing involved a natural pause.)
Continue practicing this breath for at least 5 minutes.
Breath Focus Technique:
This technique uses imagery or focus words and phrases.
You can choose a word that makes you feel calm, happy, or just neutral, such as relax, let go, or peace, but it can be anything that suits you. Choose these words or phrases to focus on and repeat throughout your practice.
As a beginner to breath focus we recommend around a 10 minute session. Gradually you can move to longer sessions of at least 20 minutes.
Sit or lie down in a comfortable place.
Bring awareness to your breaths without trying to change how you are breathing.
Alternate between normal and deep breaths a few times. Notice any differences between normal breathing and deep breathing. Notice how your stomach expands with deep inhales.
Note how shallow breathing feels compared to deep breathing.
Practice your deep breathing for a few minutes.
Place one hand on below your belly button, keeping your belly relaxed, and notice how it rises with each inhale and falls with each exhale.
Let out a loud sigh with each exhale.
Begin the practice of breath focus by combining this deep breathing with imagery and a focus word or phrase that will support relaxation.
You can imagine that the air you inhale brings waves of peace and calm throughout your body. Mentally say "inhaling peace and calm."
Imagine that the air you exhale washes away tension and anxiety. You can say to yourself, "exhaling tension and anxiety."