Do you ever feel overwhelmed and stressed? Sometimes, all we need is a few deep breaths to help us relax and focus. This blog post will discuss different meditation breathing techniques that can help you de-stress and improve your overall health. So, take a few minutes out of your day to learn about these techniques and see how they can benefit you!
1. Breath Awareness Meditation
This is an effortless breathing technique practiced in many different traditions. All you have to do is focus on the physical sensation of your breath, which should be easy since it’s always with you! But, of course, if your mind starts to wander, that’s okay too! Gently guide yourself back to focusing only on the air movement in and out of your body. Guided meditation can also be helpful for this type of exercise- try searching for some online or downloading an app for your phone.
2. Breath Counting Meditation
The idea behind this meditation technique is quite simple: breathe in through your nose while counting “one,” exhale through your mouth while counting “two,” and so forth until you reach ten before resetting. If you lose track, that’s okay! Just start again once you get to ten. This meditation is effortless to do while sitting upright with your eyes closed. It is best done when practiced after breath awareness meditation as it will help those new to these types of exercises learn more about their body and how breathing affects them physically.
3. Breath Counting With Added Objects
This form of mediation takes a bit of practice as it’s slightly more complicated than the first two techniques we discussed. Here, you count your breaths as before but add objects or phrases to each exhale or inhale. For example, during the inhale, you may want to focus on a phrase such as “I am strong” and then a similar phrase on the exhale. The second half of this exercise involves adding a small object to each inhale and exhale, such as a pebble on your inhales and your breath out, or a candle on your inhalations and blowing it out on your exhalations. This meditation can be especially beneficial for those who have trouble sleeping.
4. Breath Counting With Numbers
This is another form of mediation that’s very easy to do once you’re good at counting breaths with objects or phrases. With this technique, instead of repeating words during each breath, you’ll count up from one- this means that during the first inhale, you’ll count “one,” then during the following exhale, you count “two,” and so forth. This is an excellent meditation to do when you have a lot on your mind or feel anxious- it will help center your thoughts and help relieve stress.
5. Three In One Meditation
This breathing technique was developed by the great lama Thogme Zangpo in 12th century Tibet. It focuses on the flow of three types of prana, or life force energy, through three main energy channels in the body: Ida, Pingala, and Shunyam. The first two flows are located on either side of the central energy channel called Sushumna, which runs up the spine from the base chakra to the head. Ida starts at the left nostril and ends at the left semicircular canal. Pingala begins at the right nostril and ends at the right semicircular canal. The third channel, shunyam, begins at the inner corner of either eye and travels up to the top of the head through Sushumna. Physical poses can enhance this meditation as well: try sitting in a meditative pose known as Vajrayana (or thunderbolt pose) and focus on breathing heavily through your nose.
6. Four-Part Breath
The four-part breath is a meditation technique used by yogis that focuses on moving through three different parts of your lungs during inhalation and exhalation. Start by placing one hand over your chest and gently touching each finger with the opposite thumb as you inhale deeply for four counts through your nose. After the fourth count, hold your breath for a moment before exhaling slowly through your nose in counts of four. This meditation can be very beneficial for those with anxiety or trouble sleeping- it will help calm and relax you while also allowing you to find a deeper connection to yourself and your surroundings.
7. Nadi Shodhanam
This is a breathing exercise for nasal cleansing often practiced during yoga sessions. The Sanskrit term Nadi Shodhanam means “cleansing the channels” and works on clearing out any congestion that may exist throughout all fourteen meridians found within our nostrils. To get started, sit upright in the lotus pose (or another meditative position) with both hands resting gently on your knees. With your right hand, gently press your index and middle fingers into your left nostril, blocking off airflow into that nostril as you inhale through the right one for a count of four. Then, hold your breath briefly before exhaling from the right nostril. After this, switch hands to go through the same motions with the opposite side- this will help balance out both sides of your body.
8. Alternate Nostril Breathing
This is another breathing exercise often found in yoga sessions but can be practiced alone. As with most meditation techniques, it’s best to start in a comfortable seated position with palms facing upwards, resting on our thighs or legs. First, to begin alternate nostril breathing, find a focal point and clear away any outside distractions. You can either close your eyes or fix them on something stationary without focusing too hard- the point is to bring yourself back into mindfulness mode. Once you’re relaxed, pick up your right hand and create a fist with your thumb resting along the side of your index finger. Turn palm so it’s facing upwards toward the ceiling, and cover the lower half of the index finger with three remaining fingers of the same hand. Then, rest pinky of left hand against pointer finger, so they form an arrow shape pointing outward away from your chest. The final step is simple enough: using the right thumb, gently press down on the left nostril as you inhale deeply through the right one for four counts before exhaling slowly from the same nostril. After this, switch sides by repeating the finger configuration with the opposite hand and repeating motions. This meditation can help balance out mind, body, and spirit.
9. Om Meditation
This is a common mantra-style meditation that asks you to repeat Aum or Om in your head as you meditate for several minutes. It’s a simple technique but a potent one: try adding this practice to your daily routine by finding a quiet place free from distractions and practicing it for five minutes two times per day if possible. Focus on breathing deeply as you say “o..m” aloud or inside your head as thoughts come up. Then, push those thoughts aside as they pass through consciousness so you can stay focused on following each breath as it comes in and goes out again. The final step of this meditation asks you to repeat “O..M” head-on, each exhale while breathing deeply. The om mantra can bring a deep sense of peace and relaxation while also finding a greater self-awareness.
10. Empty Field Meditation
This is a unique mindfulness meditation that requires some time alone in nature or another open area where you have enough space to lie down without being disturbed. You’ll start by taking off your shoes and socks before lying down on the floor with palms facing up toward the ceiling near the sides of your body, legs relaxed but not crossed, and eyes closed for the duration. Then, imagine yourself surrounded by emptiness- there’s no sound, sight, smell, or anything around you except a space that’s fully aware of your presence. You can stay in this space for as long as you’d like with your eyes closed, focusing on the breath and clearing out your head completely. Once ready to return from meditation, imagine a rope or cord extending from your heart chakra to the ground beneath you. Then, use it “like a fishing line” to pull yourself down toward earth until you’re back in your body lying on the floor.
11. Candle Meditation
This simple mindfulness technique may not sound difficult but requires some practice before becoming easy. For best results, turn off overhead lights and light a single candle where you’ll meditate moving forward- try placing it between your legs if possible, so its light isn’t too distracting once your eyes are closed. Once the candle is lit, spend a few minutes focusing on its flame to help build concentration for deeper meditation. You can meditate on your breath or ask yourself personal questions while holding the candle’s flame in mind. After this, pick up the candle and move it around the body clockwise, starting at the head moving downward. Repeat this three times before stopping at feet the final time before placing back down where you initially lit it. This type of meditation works by “charging” your home with positive energy through burning candles in various areas.
12. Candle Flame Gazing Meditation
This requires some patience when first attempting but will become easier over time- all you need is at least one candle, a quiet place free from distractions, and about 15 minutes of practice. At first, it may be challenging to look at candles for extended periods. Still, the meditation becomes effortless once you can manage it without getting light-headed or feeling overwhelmed. Start by lighting candles in a quiet place free from distractions before sitting down with legs crossed and eyes closed for five minutes. Once open eyes are ready, stare at the flame before closing them again after five minutes. Repeat this process 2-3 times when possible until you are comfortable looking at the candle directly with your vision.
13. Lying Down Meditation
This is one of the more accessible types of mediation because there’s no need to sit up or wear specialized clothes while practicing. All that’s needed is enough room to lie down comfortably without being disturbed and anywhere between 5-20 minutes to spend practicing. While lying down, keep your eyes closed for the entire practice unless you visualize scenes in your head. To begin, imagine yourself surrounded by darkness or whatever place feels most relaxed before taking deep breaths that are utterly silent except for your exhale. Visualize scenes as they come into view, whether it be a vacation scene you enjoyed once or an imagined space full of stars- anything can work. You can also ask questions silently while focused on breathing and scenes until ready to open your eyes again for ending meditation.
14. Tongue Meditation Technique
This is an interesting one because it requires nothing outside of simply focusing on the tip of our tongue during meditation. It’s said this technique brings clarity of mind by focusing attention on a single point to maintain focus for extended periods. Here’s how it works: slowly move your tongue around your mouth until finding a tip, then hold it in place while focusing on nothing but that small area. This is much easier when eyes are closed because light distraction makes focusing more difficult. You can ask questions in your head or speak out loud if needed for clarity- the only trick is keeping your tongue still enough not to lose focus altogether. After meditation, you may experience increased sensitivity when tasting food due to heightened senses brought about by focused attention.
15. Mantra Meditation
Another popular type of meditation among practitioners who include words and phrases within their practice, mantra meditations, can be one of the safest if not simplest forms because there’s no need for candles or clothing changes. All that’s needed is enough room to sit comfortably in the lotus position, comfortable clothes, a quiet area free from distractions, and about 10-15 minutes of practice. First, take deep breaths with eyes closed for several minutes until relaxed before opening them again to gaze at the wall, floor, or out the window without focusing on anything in particular. Then repeat the mantra silently in the head while focusing on breathing until comfortable doing so out loud until stopping altogether at the end of meditation.
An effortless but powerful technique using nothing more than breath combined with phrases repeated either quietly or aloud over and over again. It’s also one of the oldest techniques known because its origins are found within Sanskrit writings dating back thousands of years ago, helping countless achieve higher states in life. Here’s how mantra meditation works: begin meditating by taking several deep breaths to relax the body before repeating phrases silently or out loud in the head while focusing on breathing. It can be anything from “peace,” the word “one,” or simple phrases like “I am infinite love and light” that you can repeat for 5 minutes or longer until ready to open eyes again at the end of practice.
16. Body Scanning Meditation
This is a popular technique used by people to reduce stress and reach a state of calmness no matter what time of day it is. To successfully conduct a body scanning mediation, you must fully commit yourself without being interrupted for about 15-20 minutes minimum to get desired results. Therefore, this technique is perfect for those who enjoy occupying their time by engaging in something productive to lead to positive change. Plus, it’s easy to learn and pretty simple too:
Before beginning, go ahead and shake out the entire body from head to toe as if trying to release tension. Next, begin scanning every part of your body one by one until reaching feet again going up toward your face following a straight line with steadied attention until finished without losing focus or getting distracted- you’ll know when your mind wanders because you’ll feel a sense of drowsiness wash over you. When you’ve reached your feet again, open your eyes to end the practice. It’s that easy!
17. Core Breath Meditation Technique
Known as Ujjayi breathing in yoga, this technique is one of the safest and simplest forms that all age groups can use. It helps improve memory enables practitioners to feel calmer while bettering concentration and focusing on what’s most important. This is a perfect daily meditation method that you can use more than once:
Begin breathing deeply through the nose until the belly fills with air while exhaling slowly out of the mouth or nose, depending on personal preference. Repeat several times until lungs are filled with fresh, oxygenated air from deep breaths before proceeding from relaxation breathing up toward core breath which involves inhaling deeply through the nose with mouth closed, making a hissing sound like a snake preparing to strike. Continue doing so with eyes closed, focusing attention on nothing but breathing for 5-10 minutes before opening eyes for ending the practice.
18. Concentration Meditation Technique
Although concentration methods are pretty popular nowadays, they’re not as simple to master as breathing techniques or mantra meditations, which anyone can use at any time of day without effort. However, if you’re looking for more profound results in your meditation practices after mastering the core breath method first, then give this one a try for seven days before moving forward:
Relax body and mind through deep breaths with eyes closed, focusing on calming self while keeping attention on breathing until calm is achieved. When relaxed, focus attention on the third front eye ( brow chakra ), enabling the mind to remain calm and focused on topics of interest. Continue gazing at the center of the forehead without opening eyes or straining the face for 30-45 minutes without breaking concentration for best results.
19. Simple Mantra Meditation Technique
To successfully practice mantra meditation, you must keep your mind from wandering as much as possible by saying one phrase over and over silently or out loud with eyes closed. For beginners, a simple mantra like “peace” can be repeated several times before opening eyes at the end of the session for desired effects on mindset during daily life experiences. It’s that easy!
20. Transcendental Meditation ( TM ) Technique
Introduced long ago in India, this is known as the most famous form of meditation which helps practitioners reach their ultimate zen state anytime they feel stressed or need to relax after a hard day’s work. To enjoy full benefits from TM, it’s essential to practice this method every day, which takes only twenty minutes:
Sit cross-legged in a comfortable position with arms and hands resting in lap while closing eyes for beginning meditation. Begin repeating the mantra in your head silently or out loud in whichever way you’re most comfortable, and continue doing so for 20 minutes. Open eyes when done and feel refreshed before engaging in daily activities, saying “namaste” to yourself as a sign of respect.
So, if you’re looking for a way to reduce stress and anxiety or start incorporating healthy habits into your routine, try meditation breathing techniques. They might be just what you need to take your mind off things and achieve a sense of peace. Have you ever tried meditating? What are your favorite techniques? Let us know in the comments!