It’s easy to get started with your conscious, connected breathing practice. It will allow you to connect with your body and be more present.
You will be breathing in and out through your nose so it is a very gentle breath
Lay down or sit in a comfortable position with your back as straight as possible.
Breathe in through your nose and fill up your belly. When your belly is full you can fill up your chest area until your lungs are completely full. Then, gently exhale that air through your nose without any pause between your inhale and exhale. And continue inhaling and exhaling with zero pauses so that your breathing pattern is continuous like a wheel going round and round without stopping.
Continue this process for as long as you like. Breathe in and out with zero pauses between inhales and exhales. Ideally, the inhales and exhales should be about the same duration, or the exhales can be slightly longer for maximum benefit.
You can emphasize the inhales and make sure you completely relax the exhales.
This conscious, connected breathing forms the heart of breath awareness meditation and is a great way to connect to your body!
And here’s a simple mantra that you can mentally say as you are doing this connected breathing to help keep your mind occupied as you journey into your body:
I AM HERE NOW IN THIS.
Say one word for each of the inhales and exhales.
So, on the first inhale silently say “I”. On the first exhale silently say “AM”. On the second inhale silently say “HERE”. On the second exhale silently say “NOW”. On the third inhale silently say “IN”. And on the third exhale silently say “THIS”.
You can think of the inhales as saying YES to life and whatever is happening in the moment.
This technique is found in and excellent book called The Presence Process by Michael Brown (2nd Edition) and I HIGHLY recommend it especially if BEING HERE NOW is something you aspire to. This book contains a self-facilitated 10 week process to connect you to present moment awareness and is very experiential instead of intellectual. I have been through the process twice and am on my fourth reading of this amazing book. There is so much to help us integrate the trauma and old beliefs that we may be holding on to and I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Here’s a link to that book on Amazon.
To take this breath practice a bit further you can fill up your belly on the inhale and continue to fill up your lungs into your heart and throat area and as you inhale, feel the energy flowing up the torso from the belly to the third eye.
When you exhale, you can feel an energy flowing down the torso from the top of the head to the tailbone.
These energy flow visualizations are from an excellent article on The Five Vayus from here.
Breathing slowly and deeply in through your nose and out through your nose or mouth is an excellent way to get started with your own consciously connected breath practice and brings to mind a quote I remember by Neale Donald Walsh:
“You are asking me for tools, and I am giving them to you.
Breathe long and deep.
Breathe slowly and gently.
Breathe in the soft, sweet nothingness of life,
So full of energy, so full of love.
It is God’s love you are breathing.
Breathe deeply and you can feel it.
Breathe very, very deeply and the love will make you cry.
For you have met your God,
and your God has introduced you to your soul.”
From Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 3 Neale Donald Walsch