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An Introduction to Meditation & Breathing

The purpose of breathing is to replace the mind and the blood with fresh oxygen (positive) and remove the carbon monoxide (negative). Additionally, this will help you to eventually slip into a meditative state; removing bad thoughts and feelings and replace the with loving peace. You will become shocked at the ease in which this is all achieved and the results, well, just you wait!

Anxiety and Depression are the two most common ailments which meditation dispels – according to every “guru” to have ever lived, the world over.

Typically, meditation would follow a sequence of yoga exercises but, I personally can achieve the same effect without them – but yoga does bring a whole new dynamic to energy and health. Don’t avoid it, like me, at times!

Right, let’s jump right in with the 3 techniques that you will soon master. I call them, 1, 2 and 3.

In “Part 2” to this series I will talk more about the techniques I use to connect whilst meditating – so keep a look out for it. I didn’t want to include them in this article so as not to complicate the basics – this being breathing and the “Third Eye” (explained shortly). Plus, I not sure how I will put it into words.

Technique 1.

a. Stand up, with your feet shoulder width apart; whatever comes naturally, just not feet together.

b. Take a seriously deep breath in through nostrils, right the way in to your stomach!

c. Pause for a second.

d. Breathe air out from your mouth, controlled and steady, every last ounce of it. When doing this, let out some noise. You don’t have to scare the neighbours, but you want to release some tension with it. A gentle “AAArrrgggghhhhhh” will do it.

TIP: 

Do this 10-20 times, which may take you a minute in total! Do this anytime you need some energy. You may go a bit light headed, that’s fine – but be sensible, you are not meant to get dizzy or wobble.

Now, you don’t have to do anything with your arms but, some people do. Personally, I start with my hands a couple of inches in front of my pelvis, palms up and raise them up my to my shoulders as I breath in. (hold for a second remember). As I breath out, I face my palms to the ground and lower my hand back to the pelvis ( and then flip my hands back over so I am in the starting position again with my palms facing upwards). It gets me in the zone and helps me concentrate (and I loved The Karate Kid films when I was a nipper!). Do what comes naturally.

Technique 2.

This is a major one!

POSITION:

a. Firstly, seat yourself cross legged and somewhere peaceful. If you’re heavy, like me, use a cushion to begin with if you have to. Avoid leaning your back against  a wall, however tempting it may be. 

b. secondly, lay your hands, palm up, on your knees. Now, you can stay like this, but it is advised to join your thumb and index finger. See Images.

c. Keep your back straight and sit up! No slouching now, come on…

d. CLOSE YOUR EYES !!!

 ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING – THIRD EYE

The “Third Eye” is the 6th Chakra – known as the inner eye. Indians consider this the eye of knowledge; the Guru within, the Teacher.

a. Using you left hand, place your index finger and second finger at the centre of your brow – you have now located you “Third Eye”. Keep your two fingers fixed throughout this particular exercise.

b. Press your thumb onto your left nostril, closing it, and breath in through the right nostril.

c. Split-second Pause – whilst you close your right nostril with your ring finger and remove your thumb far away from your left nostril – then breath out through you left nostril.

d. Keeping this position, you now breath in through your left nostril.

e. Split-second Pause – whilst you now close your left nostril with your thumb and remove your ring finger far away from your left nostril, you breath out through you right nostril.

f. Keeping this position, you now breath in through your right nostril – as you did when you started. That is the exercise. One repetition.

NOTE: Do this 20, 30 or 40 times – it’s wonderfully calming. Concentrate on your breathing and focus on your “Third Eye”, which ever meditative exercise your are doing when seated – IMPORTANT. This is your focus point.

Now, do not worry about not feeling the calming effect immediately. For me, a frantic thinker and fidgit, it takes me a while to flush out my thoughts. You may find your start off breathing heavier through one nostril than you do out through the other – don’t worry, as you go through the repetitions your breathing will regulate. Use your left or right hand, alternate if you want to. You may also find you get a minor pain in your “third eye” it will pass and this is perfectly normal. Remember to relax and take your time.  

I am hearing “WOW’s” and “OMG” all over the place!

Technique 3.

In your meditative pose (see Technique 2 “POSITION”) you are simply going to breathe in and out – like this.

a. With your eyes closed (and concentrating your mind on your “Third Eye”) breathe in through your nostrils, deeply but not too hard, just hard enough  for a full inhalation.

b. Breath out through the mouth FULLY – every last ounce from your stomach, chest and lungs, the lot!

NOTE: You should find that you breathe out for longer than you breathe in. Do this as many times as you like – hopefully you’re in a truly peaceful state. This is what all the yoga and meditation you ever do is aiming towards – this blissful experience you will be working towards right now. It may take time and may come straight away – it may take you days or weeks but trust me, it will be the best thing you will ever do – period!

Importantly, whilst you are in touch with your soul, your conscious, nature, your spirit god or whatever you prefer to believe, be sure to ask for what you want – what you need.

You are in a state of complete peace – tears may come, this has happened to me before – big, bad and strong old me! You will get stronger and stronger.

Technique 1 can be done anytime – wherever, whenever. I use technique 1 in-between power-sets at the gym – for lifters out there – when you’re not taking any stimulants or creatine (so you are sure) and are doing the yoga too, you’ll lift approx 10-15% more weight on every exercise – just wait and see! Then ask yourself why you’re stressing your liver, in particular, with expensive chemicals?!?!?

Technique’s 2 and 3 are to always be done together and somewhere quiet. These are the ones that will give you the peace you want and take you places that words will never do justice when attempting to explain the feeling. Ecstasy is the closest. When you feel some peace through meditating, be sure to keep you head up high and smile. You’ll see why when you do it!

Please let me know how you get along – once you’ve tried all the above exercises at least a few times. Be patient – you will see the light… In writing this, I have been meditating a lot more to help me explain the techniques I use in the best detail and sequence that I can for you. Thank you all, it’s made me realise meditation isn’t just a morning exercise! I’ve never felt such calm and life is plenty stressful right now – well, it was…

Post written and produced by Indi for Anxiety United

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