Mindful breathing is one of the most basic and most useful practices you can learn. I am speaking of the benefits of mindful breathing for relaxation, health and also meditation. Breath is the gateway to your inner world.
The Latin word for breath is spiritus or spirit. To inhale is to inspire or to bring in spirit. Spirit is all around us in the atmosphere we live in. And breath is what connects us to the earth and also to each other.
Breath brings wisdom, power and beauty. By focusing on your breath you allow your mind to settle and you open yourself up internally.
Mindful Breathing Practice
Try this: Sit up straight on a chair or bench so that your spine is erect, yet relaxed. Place your hands on your lap and have your feet flat on the earth. Close your eyes and enjoy turning your attention within. You are giving yourself some precious time here to recharge, ground, and connect with your self.
Now, simply focus on your breathing, your normal, everyday breath. Notice its inhales and exhales. Notice the turn around point between the inhales and exhales. Notice the length of your breath. Think of it as a stream that comes to your nostrils from somewhere in the room you are in. Think of your exhale flowing out of your nostrils and into the space around you. Where does the stream go?
Notice also the volume of your breath. Is it like a shallow, fast running stream or is it like a deep and slow moving river? As you continue focusing on your breath, it will begin to change. It will become deeper, slower, quieter and more rhythmic. Allow this to happen naturally. You are being mindful of your breath.
Enjoy the rhythm of your breath now and think of it like a gentle ocean wave that rises and falls. This is rhythmic breathing. This is conscious breathing. This is a full breath.
As you breathe in think that you are receiving. As you breathe out, think that you are giving, all from the heart.
You can become conscious of your breathing at any time and even a few moments of this can change your mood and your perspective. Typically, people breathe shallowly and unconsciously. This leads to emotions like anxiety and fear. Whereas, breathing fully and mindfully, will make your moods much more stable and will bring emotions like gratitude, compassion, and peace.
If you continue focusing on your breath for 10 minutes or more you will transition into meditation which is a deeper state of being and one that provides even more benefits to you: physical, emotional, and spiritual.
Further Mindful Practices:
If you’d like to go further with this, you can check out and download our Heart Rhythm Meditation eCourse and be taken to a world of meditation and heart.
Mindful breathing is a key part of all these practices. You will learn how to let breath open you, heal you, guide you and connect you with your heart in a loving and satisfying way.
You also might like our free meditation techniques page which has lots of practices you can try right away.
Journey to the Mindfulness Academy and get finger sensors, an Online Mindfulness Academy that you work through on your computer, and Deepak Chopra’s Secrets of Meditation. This is a fantastic way to learn ancient breathing practices much more quickly and effectively.