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Meditation Breathing Techniques

Updated on March 20, 2013

Breathing and Meditation

Proper Meditation Breathing Techniques are essential to your spiritual journey. Breathing and its control can provide a self contained rhythm to your thoughts. This is important because I believe we all find our minds racing, in fact, there are times our brains move too fast to even use the information it is working so hard to produce. Focusing on your breathing automatically slows down your thoughts to an easy and steady pace. It is important to look at the experience of others so that you do not have to reinvent the wheel for your meditation, but also remember to experiment on your own. Use others' ideas as starting points for your own. Here are a few wonderful breathing techniques to help you on your meditation journey.

More information on Meditation, Chakra Healing and Balancing and other Holistic Healing topics can be found at Modern Chakra

How To Do Breathing Meditation

Numbers, Rhythm and your Breathing

Sit yourself down for meditation, give yourself a moment to get comfortable. In fact, meditation can be done laying down as well as sitting, standing, and posing. As you sit start by counting each in breath and out breath up to 70. What this means as that as you inhale, take a 70% deep breath into your belly, using your diaphragm to breath not your chest or shoulder. (Breathing into your belly is one key to calmness as breathing into your chest and shoulders is inefficient, as most of our lungs are below the ribcage.)

Breath in: count 1 (one)

Breath out: count 2 (two)

Continue to 70

Your mind is focused on breathing and counting and not on scattered thoughts, it is training your brain and spirit to remain on task and with intent.

Next in line is controlling the breath with intent. So this is where you control the length of each inhale and exhale, with different times providing different meditative assertions and benefits. Here you will draw in the breath and while doing so count up to 5, to start with. So what you are really looking for in this exercise is controlling the rate of inhale and exhale. Clearly you can slow or speed up your counting to accommodate your breath. But the point is to control your breath over the span of time you are concentrating on. So to take about a 70% full breath over 5 seconds is going to a faster intake of breath then doing it over 7 seconds. So start where you feel comfortable in the breath and then work to extend the lengh of the breath over the entire inhale and exhale. 5-7 seconds per in breath or out breath, that is 10-14 seconds total complete breath cycle, is a very calming pace. Remember to keep breathing into your belly. This is called diaphragmatic breathing, as you are using your diaphragm and not shoulders or chest, a point I am repeating for a reason. Breath into your belly, breath in through your nose, you nose hairs and the moist environment of your nose filters the air you breath.

The mouth is for eating. The nose is for breathing. The mouth is for eating. The nose is for breathing. :)

Your Own Week Long Meditation Guide

Modern Chakra Meditation Guide: 7 Days to a Clearer Mind

Advanced Meditation Breathing

Using the full lung

You can take the two suggestions above and tweak them in terms of time and concentration to fit your own level of awareness. After feeling comfortable spend some time doing what is considered deeper and fuller breathing, some call it yogic breathing after the spiritually enlightened yogi's in India.

Breath into your stomach, as spoken about above, but then continue to fill the middle and then upper regions of your lungs once the bottom portion is full. So you process the breath like you would be filling up a container full of liquid. The bottom fills first, then them middle and finally the top. Visualize this as you breath. When releasing the breath use the full lung to expel the air. That is imagine you are pouring out a container. If you think about it the liquid is pouring out equally really from all portions of the container. Imagine this with your lungs, that you are releasing the air from the whole lung at the same time. This does not mean breath out harder or faster, just do try to empty the top portion of your lungs or the bottom. Another visualization is that you are not squeezing from the bottom of the toothpaste, but instead pressing the whole thing, from top to bottom at the same time. Practice this to obtain deeper awareness and a more healthy breath.

Breathing properly, whether it be full body yogic breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, should be an all day, a habitual thing. Obviously do not be discouraged if you find yourself stressed and breathing into your shoulders. Take a moment and breath into your belly. Make a conscious effort to do this regularly and eventually that is exactly what it will become: Your regular breathing. Healthy and calm.

Check out more meditation pages here:

Meditation for Anger

Meditation for Anxiety

Meditation for Jealousy

Losing Your Breath in Meditation

A very interesting and powerful sensation

For those that have been exploring these and other meditation breathing techniques, you may find an interesting experience happening to you. During meditation, when your conscious is aware but deep you can feel as if you have stopped breathing completely. The best way to describe to those not yet having experienced it is to say that it is a stillness in being, a calm restful sensation. You are no longer aware of your breathing, it has become another factor in your external existence, that outside of your spirit. With the word 'spirit', do not take it too literally if it throws you off, think of a spirit as another term for your energy self. The heat, the warmth, the love that radiates off of your body... not to mention electomagnetic, infrared and other very measurable energies. This is your true self and breathing is what keeps your physical body connected to the energy body, that is why it is the root of meditation focus. It brings you to the place where your conscious, sub-conscious and conscious minds meet. Eventually you feel complete and the breathing is no longer pushed to the foreground.

If you have experienced this, please write in the comments section!

Walking Meditation for Breath Control

Calmness in the Rhythm

Walking is a great way to help you exercise your breath control, increase fitness and heart health, as well as provide a nice steady rhythm for meditation. Walking every day, or at least almost every day, is one way to give yourself some "me" time, not be too physically stressed and allow for some meditation time. Here is one technique I use to fulfill these goals.

Decide on a nice brisk 35 minute walk.

Before starting out take in 7 nice deep breaths fully into your stomach

Repeat this mantra as you walk and try to make it last over seven (7) of your steps: "Everyday in every way I'm becoming better and healthier."

Think of your steps as beats, tapping along to this song... some of the words will land right on a step and others will not. I tend to hit the ground at "every" and "day" foot in the air for "in" then landing with my right on every again and on my left for "way" and timed out over the rest of the mantra sometimes saying words while my foot is landing and other times while it is being raised in the air.

7 is a very important number in much more than just chakras and meditation and eastern philosophy. Much of our lives, like days of the week, revolve around the number 7. The nice thing is it that focusing on seven provides a balance to your walking because each step cycle of seven repeats itself on the opposite foot than the one before, so you constantly balance your two sides as you repeat this mantra. If you start on your right foot make sure to either start again right away with the left as the cycle repeats or give yourself another two steps to to start over, like a break between each statement. But the key is to be switching which foot you are starting with each time. Have fun! It can be a little tricky and first and I recommend you try your own variations to get into your personal vibration and rhythm.

Meditation Techniques for Many Modern Needs

Here is a list of other Modern Chakra Meditation Pages to help you in specific areas!

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I spend a LOT of time researching and practicing holistic healing and meditation methods...but everyday I find something new that I am surprised I didn't come across before. We need you to share. Even if you think your idea or meditation/breathing method is weird or silly, IT MIGHT BE, but that does NOT mean it is not useful, beneficial or something that the world, or I, need to hear. Share!

Share Your Meditation Thoughts! - We learn from each other.

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    • NickHerc profile image

      NickHerc 3 years ago

      I'm not meditating on a regular basis, but I'm getting there.

      I always feel more relaxed after.

      Great lense! ;)

    • halvmarathonJes profile image

      halvmarathonJes 3 years ago

      I began to meditate regularly during my divorce a few years ago. I needed something new. Through my meditation, I found that I became more focused and achieved my goals more easily. Today I also use meditation in my training for the marathon and to visualize my races.

      Great lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Reichenbach 4 years ago

      I suffer from anxiety and, whilst still on the waiting list for a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) course, I have found that meditative breathing and walking is a good way to deal with things when they get a bit too much.

      A. x

    • profile image

      AshtonBrainwavelove 4 years ago

      Loads of useful and detailed information provided here! The most important thing beginners in meditation should know is that consistency is the key to reaping the benefits of it. Try different practices until you find the one that best suits your needs and personality, and focus on the present moment instead of constantly waiting for something special to happen. In my last blog post on brainwavelove blog I've given some detailed info on how to make meditation work for EVERYONE

    • ideaman21 lm profile image

      ideaman21 lm 4 years ago

      Absolutely one of the best lenses I've seen on meditation. Thank you for creating it and sharing so much valuable information.

    • profile image

      chinchayo 4 years ago

      Thanks for this insightful lens. Whenever I start my day meditating I feel so much more balanced and relaxed throughout the day. The challenge and beauty of meditation is that there is no shortcut to achieving a meditative state. Your tips are a useful to reaching a still mind. Dedication and intent have been key for any progress I have made.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 4 years ago

      Love these easy to follow techniques! Thanks for sharing. Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      I spend at least 15 minutes a (working) day - normally twice a day meditating - usually for longer. I find it helps me keep control of who I am ... if you see what I mean ... Your section on ' losing your breath in meditation', is, for me, spot on in sessions where my time is my own so there are no distractions or concerns. Thank you for writing this lens.

    • meditationhowto1 profile image

      meditationhowto1 4 years ago

      I meditate at least once a day for a minimum of 30 minutes, though usually it is a couple of times a day for about an hour. Plus I teach and share knowledge via my website. Meditation is great to have as part of your life and massively impacts all areas in a very positive way.

    • LifestyleNetwork profile image

      LifestyleNetwork 4 years ago

      i like the idea of walking meditation...really great to use the walking time to meditate instead of listening to music on headphones to avoid boredom...i will try it...

    • incenseman profile image

      incenseman 4 years ago

      Great Lens! Every morning 5am... Kudos !!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      whether in the city or skiing backcountry or in the city and i encounter a chalenging situation ,a few mindfull breaths greatly helps me,

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice lens :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice lens :)

    • ocoyorg profile image

      ocoyorg 4 years ago

      Breath meditation in one form or other is found in Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, and Judaism. Your article does a good job of presenting important points. You might like these articles on breath meditation and other forms of meditation at: http://www.ocoy.org/original-yoga/how-to-meditate/

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I noticed that I was going to take a "nap," for about an hour but instead I decided to breathe meditate wondering how'd that feel. Well I got to say that it was amazing! I felt like I had taken a 2-4 hour nap, and time went by so slowly that I thought at least 2 hours had gone by when in reality it was only about 45-50 minutes!

    • profile image

      JadaFuego 4 years ago

      yes!!! great article!! I love it. I have felt the "breathless sensation" described in the lens..I thought to myself...wow I must really be doing a good job! lol

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @TolovajWordsmith: meditation can also slow the experience of time down, so you can meditate to find yourself gliding through the time in your day

    • leafspirit lm profile image

      leafspirit lm 5 years ago

      Hey, great article mate! Gave me some new info I hadn't come across before and gave me some inspiration for an article I'm writing for my website

    • Aster56 profile image

      Aster56 5 years ago

      Meditation and Breathing exercises done early morning makes me feel fresh throughout the day.

    • profile image

      kimberly-byrne 5 years ago

      Meditation is really good for health. It helped me curing my asthma. Thanks for writing such informative blog.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Many people think meditation is too time consuming. But this is wrong. I found more we run up and down, more we have a feeling we don't have time. The reason is we don't spend time for really important things. Meditation helps us found out what is really important. Thanks for sharing.

    • CherryTriggerCola profile image

      CherryTriggerCola 5 years ago

      Very nice lens. Thanks for sharing1

    • mercin12 profile image

      mercin12 5 years ago

      I love walking meditation. Thank your for the in-depth explanations of a variety of meditating techniques.

    • lucky izan profile image

      lucky izan 5 years ago

      i just know there are techniques in breathing, thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed the read, I think I'll do this in the morning when I do my 20-minute workout too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      An excellent presentation on breathing techniques, very well done!

    • Fanstanding LM profile image

      Fanstanding LM 5 years ago

      These seem to be some great meditation techniques. Will need to try.

    • ICanCook profile image

      ICanCook 5 years ago

      Regular meditation is beneficial for calming and centering myself. Breathing is also essential. I had sleep apnea and started practicing deep breathing as often as I remembered and the sleep apnea was cured, naturally, just with this.

    • dogface lm profile image

      dogface lm 5 years ago

      I'd like to meditate regularly but, you know, I'm just too lazy. Great tips here anyway!

    • profile image

      Badgermedicinespirit 5 years ago

      My favourite meditation is while walking in nature, so that my breath and heart beat accompany me in the presence of spirit. thank you for your lens

    • modernchakra profile image
      Author

      modernchakra 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I tried meditation too quickly with too much expectation at first... the easier the better, the simpler it is the more likely to happen. Getting over that short term hump is the hardest, and it took me a few tries. If you have any questions if you feel frustrated, etc. please just send me a message I will help wherever I can! Take care.

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 5 years ago

      I love how meditation puts me in a harmonious way and I feel so relax. Everyone should meditate at least once a day. Great job with this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I do a chakra meditation daily and I feel that it connects me to that higher source energy. I love to write and it gives me inspiration to write quotes and gives me the answer to "what should I write about today?" for my blog. It helps me stay connected to the Universe which guides me step by step through a beautiful journey. I wish you the best:)

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Currently, I am experiencing walking meditation more and more in my day-to-day. Doing the dishes, walking to the market and back, during almost any routine task. My focus seems to be shifting. I feel the bubble around me expanding. Perhaps one day, I will find the bubble long gone.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Very informative ... proper breathing technique is very important.

    • modernchakra profile image
      Author

      modernchakra 5 years ago

      @julescorriere: Continuing to love my journey with yoga. Thank you for mentioning yoga in relation to yoga. These two are naturally drawn toward each other and now I am sharing focus between my meditation and now learning yoga. Hope that your adventure in meditation proves as fruitful for you as it continues to be so for me! Take care.

    • modernchakra profile image
      Author

      modernchakra 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the tip! I have not looked into that and certainly will now. Thank you for sharing.

    • modernchakra profile image
      Author

      modernchakra 5 years ago

      @claudiatuli: Thank you! very happy you enjoyed it.

    • JodiFromFlorida profile image

      JodiFromFlorida 5 years ago

      Informative lens. Thanks!

    • profile image

      claudiatuli 5 years ago

      wonderful guide of meditation and correct breathing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I really should try this - what a clear and easy to follow explanation of breathing techniques.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I do a technique of meditation which is called Vipassana and have found it very helpful.

    • profile image

      NevermoreShirts 5 years ago

      Fantastic guide - thanks for sharing this information!

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 5 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      Thanks for the real step-by step in this. I've done a lot of yoga, and hve been able to focus and slow down then, but in many attempts at meditation, I find myself getting dstracted. This concentration on breath that you've lined out looks like just the thing I've been looking for. Thanks for sharing.