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Suggestions for Breath Recordings

Contents of this web page:  
Breathe diaphragmatically 
How to use the recordings 
Alternate nostril breathing 
Opening a blocked nostril 

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Breathe diaphragmatically 

  1. Sit straight in your chair, with your head neck and trunk straight, aligned, and with your eyes closed. 

  2. Or, lie down on the floor on your back, with your feet and arms a comfortable distance to your sides, with a small cushion under your head, and with your eyes closed. 

  3. Breathe with your diaphragm, not your chest. The diaphragm is the large, horizontally aligned muscle connected all the way around the base of the rib cage. 

  4. Direct your attention to the space at the top of the abdomen, just below the breastbone. Allow your mind to rest in this space, which is about the size of the palm of your hand. 

  5. Push in at that space to exhale completely, then inhale naturally, using the diaphragm. The lower rib cage will flare out slightly to the sides. 

  6. Allow the lower abdomen and the upper chest to remain relatively still.  

  7. Breathe with no jerkiness, no noise as the air moves, and with no pauses between the breaths. 

  8. Allow the rate of your breathing to follow the recording. Do not strain, or try to go too slow for your capacity. 


How to use the recordings 

Here are some general comments on using the online recordings: 

  1. When you hear the word "exhale", begin to exhale at a speed which allows you to complete your exhalation just at the time you hear the word "inhale".

  2. When you hear the word "inhale", begin to inhale at a speed which allows you to complete your inhalation just at the time you hear the word "exhale".

  3. From the list of different speeds, choose a rate that is comfortable for you--neither too fast, nor too slow. 

  4. Initially it is useful to count in your mind (internally, not aloud), at the rate of 1 second per count. For example, with the 8-second breath recording, count internally, 
    "1... 2... 3... 4..." for exhalation, and then 
    "1... 2... 3... 4..." for inhalation 
    (about 7 1/2 breaths per minute).

  5. Notice that with 2-to-1 breathing the air moves out more slowly on exhalation, and comes in more quickly on inhalation. 

  6. With 2-to-1 breathing count, for example, 
    "1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6..." on exhalation, and 
    "1... 2... 3... " on inhalation for the 9-second breath 
    (about 6 1/2 breaths per minute). 

  7. First, practice with even breathing. 

  8. The 2-to-1 breathing is a little harder to do, but is even more relaxing, once you are comfortable with it. 

  9. Continue to count in this way until feel comfortable to let go of the counting. Then, allow the recording to gently keep your breathing rate on track.

  10. Allow your body to relax, and your mind to be free from forming any words (other than when counting). 

  11. Just observe the breath, with your attention directed to that palm-sized space at the upper abdomen, just below the breastbone. 

  12. Do not strain, or try to go too slow for your capacity. If you find you are straining or not getting enough air, then choose a faster breathing rate.

  13. Once diaphragmatic breathing is established, and comfortable (about 2-3 minutes or so), you may want shift your attention to the breath at the bridge of the nostrils.

  14. Feel the touch of the air in the nostrils, using the cognitive sense of touch.

  15. You may (or may not) find it useful to count your breaths, say 20 breaths. 


Alternate Nostril Breathing 

Alternate Nostril Breathing can be especially relaxing and can open a blocked nostril (which brings relaxation). 

  • Imagine that you are exhaling from one nostril and then inhaling from the same nostril, doing this one time. Then exhale and inhale from the other nostril. Keep rotating in this way. 

  • Or, exhale and then inhale with awareness on the same nostril, doing this a total of 3 times. Then exhale and inhale from the other nostril 3 times. (You may also wish do this cycle 4 or 5 times rather than 3, if that feels more natural.)

You can do this with your mind, or if you prefer, you can use your thumb and the tip of your ring finger to gently press on the edge of your nose to close one nostril at a time. This allows you to easily breathe out of the open nostril. 


Opening a blocked nostril 

If one nostril is not flowing as freely as the other (which is common), then allow your attention to rest only on that nostril which is less open. Gradually, it will open and bring a sense of calm, as both nostrils flow openly and evenly. This is a very useful skill to learn for meditation.




This site is devoted to presenting the ancient Self-Realization path 
of the Tradition of the Himalayan masters in simple, understandable and 
beneficial ways, while not compromising quality or depth.
Those practices include yoga meditation of the Yoga Sutras, 
contemplation of Advaita Vedanta, and purely internal 
kundalini-shakti practices of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra.