The basis of any relaxation technique is knowing how to breathe.
This deep breathing technique can be used either at the beginning of a longer meditation session, or simply at any time of day when you need a few minutes space, need to calm down at the end of the day, or you want to clear your mind of all your worries.
So find a place where you won’t be disturbed. If the weather’s good and you are in a quiet neighbourhood, outside is even better, to take in all of that fresh air. Put your phone away, get into a comfortable position and lets begin.
- Sit comfortably with your back straight. You can try the position in the photo above, but its not essential. The important thing is to be comfortable.
- Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
- Hold your breathe for a few seconds, as long as is comfortable.
- Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
- Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
- Depending on your situation you can continue the exercise for as little as three times, or ten minutes, half an hour – it will come naturally and you will know when to stop.
- Each time you do this exercise, try extending the time that you are inhaling, holding and exhaling.