for Breath Recordings
Contents of this web page:
How to use the recordings
Alternate nostril breathing
Opening a blocked nostril
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Sit straight in your chair, with your head neck and trunk straight,
aligned, and with your eyes closed.
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.
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.
your attention to the space at the top of the abdomen, just below the
your mind to rest in this space, which is about the size of the palm
of your hand.
in at that space to exhale completely, then inhale naturally, using
the diaphragm. The lower rib cage will flare out slightly to the
the lower abdomen and the upper chest to remain relatively
with no jerkiness, no noise as the air moves, and with no pauses
between the breaths.
the rate of your breathing to follow the recording. Do not strain, or
try to go too slow for your capacity.
to use the recordings
are some general comments on using the online recordings:
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
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
the list of different speeds, choose
a rate that is
comfortable for you--neither too fast, nor too slow.
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).
that with 2-to-1 breathing the air moves out more slowly on exhalation,
and comes in more quickly on inhalation.
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).
practice with even breathing.
The 2-to-1 breathing is a little harder to
do, but is even more relaxing, once you are comfortable with it.
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.
your body to relax, and your mind to be free from forming any words
(other than when counting).
observe the breath, with your attention directed to that palm-sized
space at the upper abdomen, just below the breastbone.
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.
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.
the touch of the air in the nostrils, using the cognitive sense of
may (or may not) find it useful to count your breaths, say 20
Nostril Breathing can be especially relaxing and can open a blocked
nostril (which brings relaxation).
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.
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.)
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
a blocked nostril
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.