Lesson 4 Practice Stomach Breathing
Before you begin the first meditation take some time to work on your stomach breathing, making sure you are familiar with the technique. We will continue this in the First meditation but it is worth practising now. You only need to do it for 5 minutes, see how often you can fit it in during the day. Whilst waiting to pick up the children or on your lunch break.
As we often chest breathe rather than stomach breathe it will take a little time to retrain those muscles. So the more often you do it the quicker you will develop.
The aim is to get your breath as slow, steady and controlled as you can. The better you are at breathing the quick you will be able to shift into a meditative state.
This breathing exercise is also great if you are having trouble sleeping.
Stomach breathing is a much more efficient way of breathing, it fills all three sections of our lungs, in particular, the lower section which is most efficient at getting vital oxygen into our system.
Babies naturally breathe this way and so do we when we lie flat on our backs, try it but support your knees or back with a pillow if you need to.
Place your hand on your chest and stomach and breathe normally, notice that your hand on your stomach rises this time. Now take a deep breathe, again notice it is the stomach that rises first, if you breathe deep enough you will then notice the chest rise. Notice how your hands move on the out breath.
In meditation, we use both chest and stomach breathing in a smooth cycle or roll. More information on Breathing
You will go much deeper and quicker into your meditations if you stomach breathe.
Complete Breathing Technique
1. Sit up straight or lie down Exhale.
2. Inhale and, at the same time, relax the belly muscles. Feel as though the belly is filling with air.
3. After filling the belly, keep inhaling. Fill up the middle of your chest. Feel your chest and rib cage expand.
4. Hold the breath in for a moment, and then begin to exhale as slowly as possible.
5. As the air is slowly let out, relax your chest and rib cage. Begin to pull your belly in to force out the remaining breath.
6. Close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing.
7. Relax your face and mind.
8. Let everything go.
9. Practice about 5 minutes.