A quick and simple breathing meditation that can be used as a short breathing space to punctuate your day and help you to feel grounded in-between activities, or alternatively, as a warm-up to prepare you for the mediations that follow.
This meditation will draw your awareness out of your mind and into your body. There is so much rewarding and relaxing sensory experience that we miss when we are constantly distracted by thoughts – this practice will help you to make a habit of feeling embodied.
By repeatedly focusing on the sensations of the breath as an anchor in the present moment we train ourselves to notice when we are distracted by thoughts. Remember, every time you realise you have become lost in thought is not a failure; it is a success. Realising that you have become distracted and guiding your awareness back to the breath is the purpose of the exercise.
This inherently relaxing meditation helps us to focus not only on our awareness of our experience but on our awareness itself, noticing it’s emotional tone, expansiveness, exploring where it wants to go and following it with a sense of openness and curiosity.
Feeling kindness towards others doesn’t just help them – it also helps to alleviate our own suffering. Compassion helps us to feel connected, reducing feelings of isolation, dulling negative thought patterns and positively changing our blood chemistry by boosting our oxytocin (the ‘love’ hormone).
Sanscrit for ‘yogic sleep’. This ancient form of meditation uses a body scan to ground you, letting the mental chatter fall away to reveal what is important, followed by a a collection of opposing conceptual words to recalibrate your mental experience. Yoga Nidra is simultaneously relaxing and rejuvenating.
Coherent breathing timers
Breathe in harmony with these rhythmic wave sounds to create bodily coherence between your breath, heartbeat and blood pressure. This not only reduces stress and improves concentration in the short-term it has lasting benefits on your heart-rate variability, vagal tone and overall health as a result.
Experiment with these two basic ratios and see which is right for you. The larger you are, the longer your ideal coherent breath is likely to be – taller people may prefer the 6:6 ratio to the 5:5.
This ratio is designed to make the exhalation longer than the inhalation. While balanced ratios increase both focus and relaxation, this ratio is designed to create a naturally relaxing and rejuvenating breath.