Meditation has been practiced all over the world for thousands of years. And many Buddhists, yoga practitioners, and eastern healers have believed that the breath is the foundation of our life force and energy. In today’s hectic, distracting world, a calm and peaceful state of mind may feel like wishful thinking. That is why many meditation practices and yoga centers have included a strong focus on deep breathing techniques.
The best mindfulness technique is to focus on Breathing. Developing an awareness of the breath and cultivating good habits of Breathing are key components of healing, transformation, and Spiritual Practice. Even though Breathing and living go hand in hand, we generally only pay attention to the breath when we feel blocked or congested. We don’t realize that the breath is a marvelous meditation tool and one that’s with us all the time. Paying attention to our breath can help us resist distractions and stay mindful.
Set aside some time from your hectic schedule to practice mindful Breathing it will help you to help you deal with stress, tension, and negative emotions and sharpen your ability to concentrate.
Even being packed with a busy schedule, I always try to take out at least 30 minutes in the morning or in the evening to practice mindfulness breathing. If you don’t know where to get started, then here are some easy breathing techniques that you can try out to tame and train your busy minds.
Pranayama or Nadhi Shodhana
Pranayama or Nadhi Shodhana is also known as alternate nostril breathing.
It involves a quick series of inhales and exhales. This exercise increases the flow of oxygen in the body and sharpens the mind.
How to Do It: Sit up in a comfortable and relax position and take a few deep breaths in and out through the nose. Inhale deeply through your nostril. At the peak of your inhaling, release your thumb, press your ring finger on the outside of your other nostril, and exhale. Continue this pattern for 1–2 minutes before switching sides.
Diaphragm breathing is the most efficient method of Breathing. The diaphragm is located at the bottom of your lungs. This technique is helpful in able to take in more air and decrease the oxygen demand.
How to Do It: Belly breathing exercises can help you use your diaphragm properly. Lie on your back and place one hand on the upper chest and the other on your stomach. Slowly inhale through your nose and press your stomach slowly from under your hand. Keep your other hand as still as possible Practice this for 5 to 10 minutes 2 to 3 times per day.
The 4-7-8 Count
This is the rhythmic breath pattern and involves a 4-second inhale, 7-second breath-holding, and an 8-second exhale. It’s also known as the relaxing breath technique as the exhale is longer than the inhale and thus produces a calming effect on the body. This is a powerful meditation technique and can give you a deep and peaceful sleep in the night.
How to Do It: Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight, relax your shoulders. Take a few deep breaths before getting started. On the next inhale, breathe through your nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds and then exhale to a count of 8. Repeat this exercise for 4 times.
Mala Bead Breathing technique
If you are someone who gets distracted easily, then you can try meditating with the mala beads. Mala beads have been used since traditional times for mindfulness breathing and meditation. Choose the right mala bead based on your intention, as the energy from the natural stone, can help to attract positive energy and vibrations.
How to Do It: Hold the mala bead in your right-hand, drape it in your middle and index fingers, slowly move your thumb with each bead, and take breaths before moving on to the next bead. Do this 108 times or till you are back at your starting bead.
There are many other breathing techniques that you can try. Keep experimenting till you find the best one suitable for your mind, body, and soul. They have numerous short-term as well as long-term health benefits.
These exercises don’t require any special accessories and can be done anywhere or everywhere. Now that you are aware of various breathing techniques, you can use them to reduce anxiety and stress; they can also increase energy levels and improve your mental and physical health.