Simplified Spirituality: Introduction to Intentional Breathing
We all know that a simple process of inhale and exhale is called breathing. But what do we inhale or exhale? Spontaneously, the response would be that we inhale and exhale air or the life source. But when looked deeply, you would see that we inhale and exhale energy, and we inhale and exhale life. I am not set out to train you you how to breath, for we all know how to breath. Instead, I am here to put forward the process and benefits of the intentional breathing. We will start small and we will start with the simple steps.
For easy understanding, I have broken the topic into 3 sections:
Prepare for intentional breathing
Simple steps for intentional breathing
What to expect when starting with intentional breathing
Prepare for intentional breathing
Find a 5-10 minutes time slot anytime, any day
Find a time slot when you can focus only on breathing
Find a space without disturbance
Simple steps for breath intentionally, advisably in the following sequence:
Pay attention to your inhales and exhales: Do not overthink and keep it simple. Do not think of duration or quality of breath. Do not try to make any change to your breath, just follow the natural rhythm. Try not to judge the anything with your breathing and simple allow your body to continue to breath. Only one thing that you need to do is to try to keep you attention to the inhales and exhales.
Pay attention to the duration of your inhales and exhales: Now that you spend time with paying attention to your inhales, pay attention to how long or short your breath is. Just simply pay attention, do not try to change it. When you bring your attention to your breath, you will notice the change in your breathing pattern. Automatically, the breathing will become dense as the duration of inhales and exhales will increase. However, you will soon be able to let go of this automatic change, and a normal cycle will resume. Keep paying attention to this change. Over a period of time, you will observe the that the natural cycle itself has changed
Pay attention to the changes in the air you breath: Initially it may be hard for you to feel the air that your breath in, except for any smell/fragrance. With time, however, you will be able to feel the cool air going in and warm air coming out. With continued practice, you will be able to track it going to much deeper in your body.
Pay attention to the changes in the body when you breath: When you focus on the breath and try to keep your mind there, the mind and body combination creates sensations (physical sensations and mental sensations in terms of thoughts). With continued efforts, you will be able to feel the air you breath going in and coming out of your body. Additionally, you will be able to notice the changes each breath brings to your body.
Pay attention to the changes in the mind: When you start to observe the mind and connect with your breathing, you will see the impact of the breathing cycle. You will see how your breathing cools down your thinking and your heart rate. You will also be able to see how it makes you calm and peaceful.
Advise to do intentional breathing:
While Stationary: Advisable to do as much as you can in the following to take the maximum benefits.
Sitting in any posture
While moving: Try to avoid. If you cannot avoid, please use caution. Perhaps, you can do at the beginning or for a short while.
What to expect
The mind will drift to thoughts, imagination, possibilities, experiences, past, future, and so on. It is expected to do so, don’t get bogged down by this,
You will notice different sensations in the body while breathing; some of the sensations may trigger you to stop intentional breathing, do not give up.
You may notice that the distractions are getting better off you, persist with your practice and you will overcome the obstacles.
Your mind may make excuses not to do intentional breathing. Try to insist and follow a schedule.
You may be too eager and expect changes too soon. Do not expect, just follow the practice and observe. Change is happening every time you breath, you will notice sooner or later. With time, impact will become larger.
Do not be hard on yourself if not able to meet your expectations for the frequency, duration, quality, and effectiveness of your efforts.
Secret tip is to think of it as your time to acknowledge, appreciate and be grateful for the life source and connection to the universe.