Breathing is something I do, just like you. And just like any of you, I have a body. And that body has been, for many years, a never ending source of exploration and perpetual questioning. My goal will be to share those explorations and questions with you. I always believe that if you want to start meditation, you need to consider yourself as the first person to ever meditate. And just explore!
Please understand that I only quote on my experience. May it help a few of you to deepen your experience, I could not be happier.
Breathing: Feeling the air
The practice I would like to talk to you about is not about something you should do. It is about letting go, which by definition is the opposite of doing something. I’ve heard about a yoga teacher (Jean Klein) who used to say that meditating is like not taking the train. What do you have to do not to take the train? Nothing.
I remember starting that practice about 20 years ago. It is a very simple one, probably the simplest one.
All you have to do is focus on the sensation of the air going in your nosetrils. Feeling the sensation of the air going in and out, like waves. Feeling if there is any difference between the right and the left side. You can actually do it as you are reading this article.
After a few seconds or minutes based on what you feel, you might start to let go of tensions in your face, around your mouth, on your forehead, at the front part of your skull, your sinus, your brain… Your attention stays centered on the air flowing in your nostrils, but you, little by little, loosen the grip that you have built around it.
And from here, breathing.
Once this step is done, the idea is to keep on feeling the air going just a bit further in your body. At the back of your mouth, in the throat, in the thorax, in the abdomen. Later in the pelvis, and further.
Everytime you go a step further, just try to let go of your ego that tries to seize your breathing as if it is something you need to control. Little by little, the surroundings, the tensions around the air will start to melt. And if you are practicing this sitting down, you might feel some stages during which your spine seems to correct itself and become a bit more straight without you having to produce any effort.
Visual help for breathing
We all tend to have some senses that we use more than others. The above paragraph talked more from a kinesthetic (touch) point of view.
But I also like to use a visual reference for this one. It is not mandatory at all, but it might help. I represent the air I breath as a white light that goes up and down in my thorax and abdomen. I think that this picture depicts with great accuracy what I have in mind.
Still, you might like to refer to another color or image. Remember, I just share an experience, see what suits you best.
See that IT breaths
This exercise tends to give a lot of space to my breathing. It’s just like sitting down and realizing that our entire body is tensed. Once you realize it, it will naturally start to relax, as if you suddenly let go of the egoic control we tend to have upon our body, instead of letting it breath and move.
At one point, you can feel your breathing at one go, and who knows, maybe beyond the visual representation of our body.
Ultimately, one might discover that just like your heart doesn’t need your help to beat, your body doesn’t need your tensions to breath. It breaths.
Do you wanna go further in your meditation? You can work with me online!
About Jules RampalMeditation teacher and osteopath
I am an online meditation teacher and an osteopath currently working in Gordes, France. My courses are for people who want to learn meditation with guided sessions, and for therapists who want to delve into the way they feel and the knowledge they can gather for their clients.
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