By Faye Martins
It is well established that yogic breath awareness is extremely effective but until one experiences this meditation and practices it for themselves they have no idea just how enjoyable and fulfilling this breath awareness meditation can be. There are many different varieties and types of meditation but yogic breathing has no equal despite its relative simplicity.
To begin this practice, sit in whatever position appeals to you at the moment; a chair, mat or carpeted floor are all acceptable choices. If this is your first time practicing yogic breath awareness, try to get excited about what you’re about to do; this will not be necessary once yogic breathing has been performed since the practice speaks for itself. Try to channel a childlike curiosity as you sit, hands folded in front and placed directly over the core muscles of the stomach.
Take a few deep, cleansing breaths and then begin. First, with eyes closed draw the attention to the nose. Feel the air tickle the tip of the nose as it rushes past and feel it flare the nostrils. Focus on just this area for the first few inhalations or as long as desired.
From this nose itself, move the conscious attention to the windpipe. Can you feel the breath rushing through the windpipe? Notice what it feels like as it moves from the tip of the nose, through the nostrils and down through the windpipe.
Now from the windpipe, feel the breath as it enters the lungs themselves. First focus on the bottom of the lungs; can you feel the air expanding that area? If you have poor body awareness feeling the lungs in vibrant detail may take some time and this is okay; never let yourself be discouraged. Once the bottom of the lungs are clearly felt expanding, the expansion continues with the breath moving to the top and then all of the sides of the lungs.
Now take a moment to enjoy the feeling of the breath; few things bring such joy and happiness as a breath felt with the utmost attention. At this point your energy levels may begin to rise as fresh oxygen hits the bloodstream as well, further heightening the sense of well being.
Now, this is a place where one may stop or they may choose to go deeper into the practice; either choice is acceptable.
For going deeper into the yogic breath awareness meditation continue to draw deep breaths through the nose but this time instead of turning your attention to the direct physical path the air follows pay attention to the indirect areas of the body that are impacted by a pure, deep breath. The spine is a prime example of an area of the physical body that is impacted by the movement of the breath.
Feel the spine stretch and open up as it’s caressed by the inhalation and released by the exhalation. Feel the rib cage expand and contract. Pay attention to the feeling of the stomach rising and falling with the deep, peaceful breaths.
As a more advanced practice, let this observing extend to the arms, legs, head and pelvis, feeling the breath within them too.
This meditation is at once one of the most pleasurable and transformative meditation practices an individual may engage in. The sensual pleasure of feeling the breath and ultimately becoming the breath itself is so powerful that the ego can’t help but be silenced, even in the most egocentric of individuals.
Yogic breath awareness is a meditation that grows with the practitioner, leading them deeper and deeper into places of inner stillness and peace. If you haven’t tried this meditation before I encourage you to do so today; it will likely become a favorite part of your day.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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