The Measured Breath
- You can sit or stand, but be sure to soften up a little before you begin. Make sure your hands are relaxed, and your knees are soft.
- Drop your shoulders and let your jaw relax.
- Now breathe in slowly through your nose and count to 4, keep your shoulders down and allow your stomach to expand as you breathe in.
- Hold the breath for a moment.
- Now release your breath slowly and smoothly as you count to 7.
- Repeat for a couple of minutes.
Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow.
- To begin the exercise, count "1" to yourself as you exhale.
- The next time you exhale, count "2," and so on up to "5."
- Then begin a new cycle, counting "1" on the next exhalation.
Never count higher than "5," and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to "eight," "12," even "19."
The Bumble Bee Breath
You might prefer to be alone for this one as you'll be making a noise. Strange though it sounds, this little technique has been used for thousands of years for calming the mind.
- Relax your shoulders
- Close your throat slightly so you can hear your breath when you breathe in
- Cover your ears with your thumbs and your eyes with your fingers
- Keep your lips closed but lightly and your teeth slightly apart with your jaw relaxed and breathe out slowly making a long, low humming sound
- Make your exhalation long and smooth
- Repeat 5-10 times
- Then sit with long slow breaths for a couple of minutes and enjoy the peace.
- Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Feel your stomach rise as you breath in and your chest fall as you breath out
- Imagine that there is a candle in front of you.
- As you breathe out, blow the air out through your mouth very slowly and softly, just enough air to make the flame of the candle flicker, but not enough to blow it out.
- When you breathe in, imagine that the flame of the candle flickers and leans toward you. As you breathe out, the flame flickers and leans away.
- Imagine the flame of the candle moving in and out with each breath you take.
- Continue this for a few minutes