Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Simple Breath Meditation

I wonder if the guy in the picture is breathing comfortably as he naps. Doesn't seem like he could get a good breath in that posture, but maybe. The physiology of breathing is really cool, at least to anatomy nerds such as myself. For instance, inhaling feels active as a sensation, but what's happening is that the diaphram drops, creating a vacuum in the lungs. Air rushes in. Exhaling is more active, the diaphram lifting, pushing the air out. You know that's what asthma is, right? Having a reduced capacity to push air out of the lungs.

Here's a simple breath meditation that can increase lung capacity which is good for everything, believe me: everything. It is also supremely soothing and relaxing.


Sit or stand with your spine fully extended, open your shoulders. Let your head sit comfortably on your neck, your spine sit comfortably in your pelvis. Feel your feet on the floor. Stand up straight but don't strain, be comfortable. Imagine a silver or gold cord extending from the top of your head, gently lifting the top of your head. Imagine a green, deep brown or burgundy cord extending downwards from your feet, holding you securely to the earth. Now relax your jaw. Let your lips part slightly, part your teeth slightly, relax your tongue.

Now breathe. Take two or three breaths at your own pace, as deep as feels comfortable. With the next breath, let your lungs fill with air (remember your diaphram drops, the air rushes in, so you don't have to push). When you exhale, let it all go. If you aren't too self conscious, say Ahhhh out loud with the exhale. (The "ahhh" makes your exhale a sigh which soothes your liver.)

With the next breath, imagine you can breathe past your lungs, filling your whole body with clean, fresh air. If you can't imagine, then pretend to imagine. When you exhale, imagine that the air travels down through your feet, through the cords down deep into the earth. When you inhale, imagine that you are drawing breath from both head and feet cords, filling your body with starlight, moonlight and sunlight, also with the deep, rich, fertile energy of the earth.

When you exhale, let it all go.


The above takes two or three minutes. It always helps in every situation. Give it a go.

Breathe easy today, y'all. Shalom.


ellen abbott said...

you're right, we will breath in naturally, automatically. It's the breathing out we have to be conscious of. You will never exhale completely mindlessly. You must purposely and mindfully force all the air out of your lungs. and the moment you stop exhaling or making the effort to hold your breath out, automatically, with now effort or mindfullness on your part, you will inhale. when I was going to the chiropracter/wholistic healer he would always tell me that I wasn't breathing so I started paying more attention and I noticed when I was cutting stencils, I was usually holding my breath. So I started trying to be more mindful and exhale on long sweeping cuts.

Reya Mellicker said...

Holding breath while cutting stencils makes sense to me - trying to remain absolutely steady is a great idea. Except you cut a LOT of stencils. I think it's so cool you figured out how to breathe through the process!

Kerry said...

Yeah, I have to sit up to breathe right, open my shoulders. It feels soooo good to do that. Yet this man is curling up, kind of hibernating like a roly-poly, so maybe that is ok for him as he dozes. I really like this photo.