Breathing is a big part of meditation. There are a number of reasons for this but I’ll only focus on two.
The first is that breathing correctly is something we seem to have forgotten. It certainly doesn’t come naturally to many people any more. Breathing deeply and steadily can have quite a positive effect on one’s life.
The second reason is that breathing, for the most part, is an autonomous action. It’s something that happens in our body’s without our needing to make it happen and quite often without us even noticing. How many breaths have you taken today that you noticed?
For this reason, it can be an easy source for focusing our attention. It’s something that happens inside of us and it is something that needs to happen constantly and rhythmically. By focusing all of our attention on our breathing, we can take control of it, usually by slowing it down over a short time.
Our breathing has a surprising effect on both our physiology and our mental state. By slowing our breathing down, it will generally make us feel calmer and more at peace.
Following are a number of exercises to take control of your breathing. They are the first steps towards meditation and can easily be incorporated into everyday life. In fact, if these exercises are all you do, I’m sure you will gain mental and physical benefits from their regular practice.