February 15, 2020

Meditation: Breathing

By John


According to the online community, there are many ways to perform a correct breathing technique during mediation. From breathing deeply in and out to exhale first or inhale first. From counting breaths to just feeling the air. There are so many ways, it is no wonder that this vital step is skipped.

Just a state of mind

The whole essence of correct breathing is to enable you “to get into state.” It helps to clear the mind during the meditation part of the session and allows you to follow your intent.

The truth of the matter is, you should find a technique that feels comfortable, which is a simple matter of trial and error. One size does not fit all. We are all unique, as is our response to mediation.

One thing is clear though: correct breathing is often overlooked, even rushed, and purposeful breathing is more than a relaxant. It improves the quality of the whole experience.

Meditative breathing is not the same as our normal daily breathing, it is entirely different. However, a small daily habit can have a real impact and does not have to take long.

In mediation, getting into state quickly can become something that we do subconsciously, thus having a positive effect inside and outside of the session.

Perfecting this minute detail, helps to declutter the mind, allows for clarity of thought and a reconnection to oneself. We can draw on this skill in crisis situations, where reduced levels of stress improve performance and minimise knee jerk reactions.

Simplicity at its best.

Here is my technique that I use. Do not be fooled by the simplicity of it. Contrary to popular belief, long drawn out exercises hinder our development. The whole point is to practice what works and reap the benefits quickly.

Read through the instructions below in their entirety before attempting the exercise and just go with it. If you feel the need to change something, do as you will. That’s the beauty of walking your own journey.

Read, understand, do.

Sit in a comfortable chair, or lay down on a bed.

  • Breathe normally for now.
  • Bring your awareness to your breathing and settle down.

When ready…

    • Inhale for a slow count of three.
    • Exhale for a slower count of five.
    • Repeat.
  • At any point, close your eyes if that is what you wish to do.
  • Initially, just be mindful of a few rounds.
  • Pause and then start again.

Increase the duration of the exercise at a pace that is right for you, but don’t stray from three inhalations and five exhalations. They are important numbers that will come into play as you progress. More of that later as we explore some simple seaside meditations.