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How to Practice Awareness of Breath Meditation

Updated on June 9, 2019

Introduction to Awareness of Breath Meditation

The practice of awareness of breath meditation is a mindful practice that can provide you with great benefits to your overall health. The technique can be fairly easy to start to practice and by making it a part of your life, the more you practice the greater the benefits will be.

How to Practice Awareness of Breath Meditation

In order to practice awareness of breath meditation it is important that you have sufficient time. When starting off aim for around 10 minutes of meditation. You can sit in a chair or sit cross legged on the floor with your hands either resting up or down on your knees depending on your personal preference. It is important that you are not slouching back so pay very close attention to your posture. You should be slightly leaning forward but do not exaggerate the position.

When you are comfortable in your posture, please use the following points to practice the awareness of breath meditation technique:

  • Gently close your eyes and begin to focus on the breath. You should aim to focus on where you feel the breath the strongest. This may be at the tip of your nose, in your chest, in your rib cage or in your stomach. There is no wrong or right answer as long as you can feel the breath.
  • Whilst focusing on the breath, it is important to not force the breath, you are simply observing the breath as you breathe in and breathe out.
  • With each breath, you should gradually begin to feel relaxed.
  • Try not to think about anything, try and keep your mind thoughtless.
  • You may notice that your mind slowly drifts from thought to thought from time to time. This is normal, when this happens simply bring your attention back allowing each thought to slowly drift away.
  • As you progress you can observe the breath in the body as a whole if this helps. You may feel your shoulders rising when you breathe in and your shoulders falling when you breathe out. You may be able to observe the way your chest or stomach moves with each breath.
  • At the end of the meditation session gently open your eyes.

Observe the breathe
Observe the breathe

Key Benefits of Practising Awareness of Breath Meditation

  • Feeling more relaxed - this can help with things like depression and anxiety. This happens as you continue to practice meditation, as the amygdala - the brains centre which responds to fear, starts to become more regulated. If you are constantly in an anxious state of fight or flight mode then this can be beneficial for you to feel a greater sense of calm.
  • Improves overall focus and attention. By being more present in the moment you will be able to live a better quality of life. This may help with things like improved productivity in your work life.
  • Improved overall quality of health - this is achieved by promoting the natural activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. When the parasympathetic nervous system is active, the body is able to conserve energy and use it towards processes like digestion more effectively aiding to maintain better well being. Whilst the sympathetic nervous system response may be useful in situations of danger where the fight or flight mode is activated, staying in this nervous system response for longer than is necessary can lead to terrible effects on your health including increased risk of depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and other stress related problems.
  • Improved cognitive function including improvement in memory.

Other Key Tips:

  • Aim to practice awareness of breath meditation in the morning if possible, if not you can also practice in the day or evening.
  • Do not fall asleep. Being in a sleepy state or drowsy state is not meditation.
  • Slowly increase the meditation time from 10 minutes up to around 15 to 20 minutes.
  • You may find it beneficial to sit somewhere quiet for your practice.
  • Please make sure you are not disturbed before you start and can commit to a certain period of practice.

Conclusion

By making awareness of breath meditation a part of your daily life you can take advantage of many of the great health benefits you gain from this practice. Always remember, whatever you practice grows stronger.

© 2019 Gupi

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    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      3 days ago

      Hi Pamela, thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it. I hope that you gain some benefits from mindfulness. Mindfulness is currently helping me overcome my own health problems. I am attending a mindfulness course and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      3 days ago from Sunny Florida

      I am going to try this breathing mindfulness. I am doing some breathing exercise, but not quite like you described. I have numerous medical problems, and I think this technique will help me. Thank you for a wonderful technique for focus and relaxation.

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      4 days ago

      Hi Sourav, thank you for sharing. I also practice pranayam yoga and find it useful.

    • hubber8893 profile image

      Sourav Rana 

      4 days ago

      I have also felt the drift of thoughts while performing pranayam yoga(an alternative form of breath meditation) and knowing about it being normal through your hub is making me feel relaxed now. Thanks for carefully writing such a useful stuff.

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      4 days ago

      Hi Lorna, Thanks for sharing your views. I will look into Hatha Yoga as I think it isn't something I have heard of before. :)

    • Gurpinder Vir Singh Rai profile imageAUTHOR

      Gupi 

      4 days ago

      Hi Bill, Thank you for the feedback, really appreciated. Living in the moment is key :)

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      5 days ago

      I have practiced meditation for many years and found your article really helpful. I also practice Hatha Yoga which concentrates mainly on breathing techniques. Thank you for sharing.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

      Bill Tollefson 

      5 days ago from Southwest Florida

      Enjoyed your article and all the good tips. Breathing is extremely valuable for health and learning to live in the moment. Good article. Coach Bill

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