Breath and Stillness Part Three

Breath and Stillness for everyone

Breath and Stillness Part Three:  Practices for you

Breath Awareness

Breath Awareness Meditation Practice
Become aware of your breath.  Notice your breath as it flows through your body. The rise and fall. The rise and fall of your body as your breath fills your body. The natural rhythm of your breath. Feel the in breath, feel the out breath.

Begin to slowly transition to breathing in and out of your nose, naturally. Let the breath breathe as it needs to, don’t make the breath be longer or slower, just breath naturally in and out of the nose. Observe. notice.

Notice the coolness or warmness of the breath as it flows in and out. Observe the pause between the inhale and exhale.

Your breaths may vary, one might be longer, one might be shorter. Just notice it, the natural breath. observe.

Our natural way of breathing in and out of our nose is our focus point. Focus on this area on the breath.

As you exhale, feel the breath moving out and away from your body.  As you inhale feel the breath moving in and through your body. Feel the expansion of the inhale and the relaxation of the exhale. 

Become aware of the breath moving in and out of the nose, the throat, the body. Feel the sensations of the breath. Draw the breath in and let the breath go. Over and over.  (Pause for a short moment)

Start again and again —just noticing. Be aware as thoughts arise and pass. Just like a river passing by you, observe them move on. 

Notice the breath in different areas of your body. Your nose, throat, chest, torso, all over, pick an area and be aware of the breath in that area for several breaths.

Use Heather’s Breath Awareness Audio track included in the links below

Start again and again —just noticing.

Deep Breathing

Close eyes and place hand on your belly. First, begin to observe your breath and the rate you are breathing. Do this for several breath cycles.

To practice, you will learn to alternate between your normal breath and a deeper breath. To begin, take a normal breath and then exhale.

Next, take a slower, deeper breath in. Observe the breath as it enters through the nose and feel it move all the way into your body expanding your entire torso-your belly moves outward into your
hands.

Exhale this deeper, slower breath out through your mouth noticing all the sensations as it leaves the body.

Then, alternate deeper, slower breaths with your normal breathing. Do this for 5 to 10 rounds of breath.

Finally, work at moving to a series of deeper, slower breaths in a row. Being with a small set, like three deeper, slower breaths for a maximum of 5 minutes of consistent deep breathing at first. Later, you may lengthen this practice as you want to.

Tip:  Breath more deeply; but do not force the breath or breath aggressively.

Observe the breath

A Few Breathwork Practices

Breathwork Meditation countdown practice

Set up your space and body.

It is helpful to time this practice. Using a timer can be helpful as you do not need to glance at a clock; but simple end when the timer goes off. If using a timer does not appeal to you, just choose to practice for what seems like a short time or do 3 or 4 sets or complete countdowns.

How to do the practice:  
Begin to count your breaths backward from 30 to 0. Exhale 30, inhale 29, exhale 28, and so on until you reach 0. When you get to zero begin again until your chosen time ends. If you lose count, just start over.

The purpose of this breathwork meditation is to practice focusing through teaching your mind to think of one thing:  counting.

Box Breath:

This practice develops focus, lower heart rate, and reduce stress

How to do the practice:
Work at breathing for equal counts you inhale, hold, exhale, hold. Begin with a small number count. For example, 3 counts:   inhale for 3 counts, hold for 3 counts, exhale 3 counts, and hold 3 counts.

just start over

Yoga Nidra methods

Any form of Yoga Nidra is best done as a guided practice. See the links below for a guided audio practice of Deep Relaxation Yoga Nidra.  

There are also many free audio track downloads available online, simply search “Guided Yoga Nidra Practices”

Meditations

There are many many ways to meditate. Here are a few simple ways adapted for everyone.

Simple meditation method:

Take a comfortable position:  Find a spot that works for you.

Notice your body- make sure you feel comfortable, stable and in a position, you can stay in for a while.

Feel your breath- Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out.

Notice when your mind has wandered-Inevitably, your may leave the breath and wander. When you notice that your mind has wandered, simply return your attention to the breath.

Be kind -Don’t judge or obsess over the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just return to noticing the breath.

Close your practice in a way that works for you. -a pause, a movement, a word or gesture or other. 

When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze. Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions.

Simple Standing meditation:

Stand with your feet slightly apart, notice your body, try to relax any tense areas. Let your arms and hands hang loose.

Inhale and exhale in a relaxed slow way noticing each in and out breath. You can also count to three between each breath and during each in and out breath.

Notice your body from the ground up – From how your feet feel on the floor to how your breaths feels at it fills your chest.

  • Do this for up to 10 minutes at one time.

  • Set a time limit-at first, choose five or 10 minutes.

Notice your thoughts and emotions

Body Scanning Awareness Practice:

Now become aware of your body. We will rotate our awareness through the body. As I say the name of each body part, bring your attention to that part.  You can say the name silently in your head as you notice it or not.

Notice all sensation in each body part, just as it is. observe, neutrally. Just perceive, notice what is happening inside your body and with your breath with objective observation. There may be small sensation or big sensations-just notice.

We will move through a scan of the body while continuing to breath naturally.   We scan through the body piece by piece, part by part, observing and noticing.

Begin with the nose, notice the nose.

Start with the top of the head then begin to move downward through the head, neck, both shoulders and both arms to the hands.

Notice the chest, belly and all of the torso.

Then on to the waist, pelvis and hips.

Take your awareness through the right leg from top of the leg to the right toes and back upward.

Take your awareness through the left leg from the top of the leg to the left toes and back upward.

Feel both Legs and both feet.

Move back up the body through the torso, upward from the right hand to shoulder, left hand to shoulder and then all of the neck, throat. The front and back of the head to the top of the head.

Now feel the front body. Your back body

Become aware of the entire right side of your body.

Become aware of the entire left side of your body
Now feel Both sides of your body

Feel all of your body.

Notice the sensations throughout your entire body. just notice them neutrally and patiently. Sensations will arise and pass.
  Feel all the points your body rests down

Note: You can continue with the Bodyscan awareness by creating a routine or cycle of scanning through the body from the top of the head all the way to the toes and back upward—over and over.

Use Heather’s Audio track included in the links below for a guided body scanning practice

become aware of your body

Next Breath and Stillness Part Four: Putting it all Together


In gratitude,

Heather's Signature

Next Steps:

Practices from Article:

  • Simple restoration, meditation and breathwork into your everyday life to support you in simple ways, here
  • Listen to a guided breath Awareness Audio track, here
  • Listen to a guided audio practice of Deep Relaxation Yoga Nidra, here
  • Listen to a guided body scanning practice, here
  • Join my innovative program at a special low price, Twenty-One DaysHere
  • Definitely sign up for my Newsletter, here
  • Read my other articles, here

Extra: