Breathing

Here are five breathing practices that will support you to quiet your mind, become present and reconnect with your essential nature.

Deep Breathing 

Deep breathing is simple but effective. You can do it anywhere, while sitting, standing up, or lying down.

To practice:

  1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position with your eyes open or closed.
  2. Relax your tummy.
  3. Place one hand on your tummy, just beneath your ribs.
  4. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, noticing your hand rise.
  5. Breathe out through your mouth, noticing your hand fall.
  6. Repeat the cycle for 5-10 rounds, or until you feel calm and present.

Bamboo Legs

This practice combines deep breathing with visualisation. It may sound a little strange, but it is surprisingly relaxing – give it a go!

To practice:

  1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position with your eyes open or closed.
  2. Clench and then relax the muscles in your face and shoulders.
  3. Imagine your legs as hollow bamboo with holes in the soles of both feet.
  4. Take a deep breath, visualising the breath as warm air entering your body through the holes in the soles of your feet.
  5. Imagine the warm air gently flowing up your legs, through your tummy, and then filling your lungs. Relax each muscle as the warm air passes through it.
  6. Breathe out slowly, imagining the air moving from the lungs back through your tummy, then your legs, before leaving your body through the holes in the soles of your feet.
  7. Repeat until you feel calm.

Mindful Breathing 

Mindful breathing can help you to focus on the here and now.

To practice:

  1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position with your eyes open or closed.
  2. Inhale through your nose until your tummy expands.
  3. Slowly let the breath out through your mouth.
  4. Once settled into the pattern, focus your attention on the sensations of the breath coming in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  5. Notice the rise and fall of your tummy as you rest in your breathing body.
  6. As thoughts arise, notice that they are there without judgment, then gently let them go and bring your attention back to the sensations of breathing.
  7. Continue for 1-5 minutes then start to be aware of how your body and mind feels.

Straw Breathing

Breathing out through pursed lips – an imagined ‘straw’ – amplified the sound and sensations of your exhaling breath. This amplification can help to anchor you back into the present moment.

To practice:

  1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position with your eyes open or closed.
  2. Breathe in slowly through your nose, noticing the air fill your throat, chest and then belly.
  3. Breathe out slowly through pursed lips, focusing on the tummy lowering.
  4. Repeat the cycle for 5-10 rounds, or until you feel calm and present.

Box Breathing

This practice is a quick and simple way to relax anywhere.

To practice:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with you back supported, feet on the floor and with your eyes open or closed.
  2. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
  3. Hold your breath while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. Simply pause inhalation and exhalation for 4 seconds.
  4. Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 3 at least three times. Ideally, for a few minutes.
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