The breath can flow through our body like a small trickle or like a life-giving river. This life force can inspire us, gives us vitality, freshness and supports all life processes. The breath provides us with vital oxygen and is the source of our life energy. At the same time, it is an anchor for deep calm and can release physical, mental and spiritual blockages. Sleep problems, exhaustion or lack of concentration can also improve or disappear completely through the loosened and deep breath. Those who strengthen their breath, strengthen their physical and mental power. Good reasons to get to know the breath and its natural rhythm in more detail.
The advantage of breath meditation is that it is the easiest meditation technique to learn and its "tool", the breath, is always and everywhere available.
Preparation for meditation
The best place for breathing meditation is a quiet place where no one can disturb you for the next few minutes. But you can also use this technique in any other situation in your everyday life. For example, at your workplace, when you have a short break between appointments or when you are travelling in the car. Take advantage of all the moments when you are undisturbed, but also in times when you are hectic and restless, focus on your breath and find your inner peace. Breathing deeply makes you more balanced, resilient and calm in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Exhalation in particular has a calming and tension-relieving effect, we can let go more easily.
Instructions: Breathing Meditation
- Sit on a meditation cushion and make sure that your posture is upright so that your breath can flow freely. If you want to do the meditation lying down, it is good to bend your knees a little so that your back can rest straight on the floor.
- Close your eyes, become aware of your breath, feel the air flowing in and out through your nose as you breathe. Notice the texture of the air. Is it warm or cold, moist or dry? Can you perhaps detect a smell? Don't try to judge the air, just notice it and keep breathing. Let your breath happen in a way that is natural for you, do not influence it.
- When thoughts arise, don't hold on to them, just let them go with the next exhalation.
- Place both hands on the lower abdomen. Feel the gentle movement of the abdominal wall as it rises and falls with each inhalation and exhalation. Concentrate fully on the feeling under your hands. Notice how your abdomen expands with each breath and how you can take in even more fresh air.
- With each exhalation,cleanse yourself of the old and stale air and let go of all negative thoughts. With each inhalation, take in even more peace and relaxation. Try to release any tension from your body. Observe the gentle undulations of the breath for a while and enjoy how you relax more and more.
- If thoughts arise here and there, let them pass. Just as the clouds in the sky come and go, so do your thoughts. Concentrate again and again on the moment between the next breath; it is precisely the pauses between breaths that bring us fully into the here and now. Enjoy the peace and stillness within you for a while.
- After a few minutes, depending on what your time frame allows, take three deep breaths. After the last breath, slowly return to the present and open your eyes.
Feel into your body and reflect: What has changed in you? What did you notice? Was your breath able to flow freely or were there blockages in you? How do you feel after the meditation? How does your body feel? How is your mental state? Do you feel the relaxation in your body?
Assistance and tips
In the beginning you may not be able to feel the breath movements under your hands very well. But if you practise regularly, your breath will flow back into the depths by itself through relaxed and conscious breathing. Take your time and enjoy the small successes.
When you feel tired and listless, practice conscious yawning. To do this, yawn as intensely as you can, widening your diaphragm even more than when you breathe deeply. Your lungs are cleansed and you get fresh energy, which invigorates and activates you.
Another option is to use essential oils, mix a spray of 100 ml of water and a few drops of essential oils of your choice. Peppermint, sweet orange or lavender are particularly suitable. Spray the essence into the room and into your aura, breathe in and out deeply and enjoy the delicate fragrance in your nose. Depending on the scent, your mood will react differently: mint is refreshing and clarifying, orange activates and helps your mind to centre, lavender is calming and balancing.
You are welcome to complement your meditation with the following mantra:
"When I breathe in I give my body peace, when I breathe out I let go and smile. I stay in the present moment and know it is a wonderful moment."
Cover photo: © fizkes - stock.adobe.com