Checking in with you again today and hoping that you are finding the first and introductory Meditation, that of breath awareness and counting the breath in and out not too much of a challenge.
The challenge is not so much about the ability to breath in and out ( we do that automatically) but more with the following…..
How is your posture? Is your back starting to ache? Are you finding it challenging to sit still? Are there thoughts racing around and finding it hard to concentrate at the task?
The answer to these questions I would assume, it YES! to all of the above. This is normal and not in any way unusual.
Stick at it. Try to practice this simple technique a little longer until it feels easy.
Then begin to include the following:
Breath awareness with breath retention.
What is breath retention ( Kumbhaka)?
Kumbhaka is breath retention, inserting a pause at the completion of the inhalation. In other words holding the breath in for an achievable period of time helps to strengthen the lungs and increase capacity ( there are other benefits of course but for now lets keep it simple).
Ensure retention is very achievable to start and a simple pause for a few seconds is advisable. Observe caution when holding the breath and do not practice if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure or any cardiovascular concerns or it just does not feel right…. leave it out.
We can also pause after we have exhaled and emptied the lungs of air, this may feel a bit strange at first but again make sure you only pause of a few seconds.
So, Practice now the following.
Sitting and counting the breath in and out, with a view to lengthen the exhalation
Begin to include a pause after you inhale for a few seconds only.
Exhale completely and include a pause for a few seconds only.
Try to observe the quiet and stillness during the pauses.
Remember to build your self up to this practice and always return to counting the breath in and out as soon as you become distracted.