by Lynda Light, M.Ed
Breathing and concentrating on your breath cycle is very simple, and it is at the heart of meditation. Deep diaphragmatic breathing, for even just a short period of time, can improve your heart rate variability and reduce heart rate, blood pressure, stress and anxiety. Your breath is a portable stress management system that is easy to use any time, any place.
While you breathe, concentrate on the total experience of breathing — the feeling, the sound, the tempo. For you surfers, imagine riding the breath, like a wave. Take the challenge and practice this breathing meditation once per day for four weeks and see what a difference it makes.
Use the following breathing meditation to help you feel more peace and experience more vibrant health.
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position with your back straight.
- Breathe in deeply into the lower belly, in a fully diaphragmatic breath, slowly counting to five. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5…
- Now release the breath by exhaling a five-count breath. Gently allow the abdominal muscles to pull your navel into your spine.
- Briefly rest in the stillness found at the bottom of your exhalation.
- Repeat this simple breath cycle 10 times.