One of the most common meditation techniques is “Anapanasati”. In other words: “The Breathing Meditation”. Practising “Anapanasati” is not that difficult.
If you have practised a lot how to become present, “Anapanasati” is the next step you can take in order to go just a step deeper to your meditation practice. “Anapanasati” is basically when you breathe consciously. So simple! Now let me explain to you how you can practise “Anapanasati” successfully. It is always advised to practise breathing exercises in a sitting or lying position in case of feeling some dizziness or losing consciousness.
1. Close your eyes and focus inside you.
2. Breathe slowly and relaxed. It is recommended to breathe in through your nose. You can breathe out through your nose or through your mouth. It is up to you.
3. Breathe in normally. Don’t try to force your inhalation. Let it happen naturally.
4. Breathe out slowly. Use long exhalations. Again. Let it happen naturally. Don’t think about breathing correctly.
5. Now focus on your breathing. Don’t try to guide your breathing. Just observe it. Don’t judge it. Simply observe what happens to your body while breathing.
6. Stay focused on what your body does while breathing in and out.
7. Keep breathing consciously in and out for a couple of minutes.
During the whole process you really need to stay focused on your breathing. If your mind drifts every now and then, simply return your concentration on your breathing. Don’t get upset. It is natural.
As long as you observe your breathing, try to feel everything that happens in your body. For example: Notice how the air flows in and out of your body. Try to feel the route it follows from your mouth to your throat, then to your lungs, your belly etc. Try to feel how your muscles contract in every breath.
Some people say that it is useful to count your breaths. In my opinion, counting your breaths creates some stress to the whole procedure. If you are an advanced meditator it is a great exercise to train your mind staying focused but, if you are a beginner it is not a good idea to add stressful techniques in your first meditation experiences. So, I recommend not do this until you will be able to stay focused whenever you want. What you can do is simply breathe in and out and consciously observe your breathing and your body’s reaction. This is more than enough to help you stay focused and in tune with your body.
Practising “Anapanasati” is a great way to connect with your body. This is the simplest version of “Anapanasati” offered to you to help you connect with your body. Of course there are more advanced versions of “Anapanasati” to practise. There are also many more advanced techniques in I.M. Meditation method that offers you plenty of benefits but, you need to start with the easy staff first.
Breathing exercises can offer plenty of benefits including stress relief, relaxation, energy management and many more. We will talk about these techniques in other articles. Until then, do this simple version of “Anapanasati” for a couple of minutes every day. It will help you connect with your body.
Let me know how it feels for you to practise “Anapanasati”.
Fotis De Tao.