|Try this breath awareness practice.
You may wish to read through this practice once before beginning.
Make sure you won't be disturbed for the next few minutes. Sit comfortably in your chair, both feet flat
on the floor. Rest your hands on your thighs or in your lap. Soften your gaze.
Take in a couple of deep breaths, slowly releasing each one with a sigh.
Now let your breathing become natural as you relax the muscles of your face, especially around your
jaw. Relax your forehead and the space between your eyebrows. Release any tension from your
Continue to breathe naturally, in and out through your nose. Keep your spine gently lengthened—
neither hunched forward nor leaning back. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
As you continue to breathe, notice the quality of your breath...the temperature of the air entering your
nostrils...what each breath feels like at the back of your throat. Without trying to change how you are
breathing, notice any rising and falling movements in your chest, your sides, or the back of your body.
Pay particular attention to the area around your navel.
Now, soften and relax your belly, lengthen your spine, and consciously deepen your breath.
Without straining, slowly inhale fully and feel your abdomen expand. Then exhale completely. To empty
the lungs as much as possible, gently contract your abdominal muscles in toward your spine at the
very end of each exhalation. When you're ready to inhale again, soften all those muscles and relax the
belly, as you breathe in fully. Then breathe out completely.
Breathe like this for at least ten full breaths. As you do so, breathe deeply and slowly, creating a pace
that feels relaxing. Mentally follow each inhalation and each exhalation. If you become aware of
tension anywhere in your body, see if you can release it as you exhale. Continue to relax and soften.
When you notice that your mind has wandered away from being focused on your breathing, gently
bring your attention back to your belly and your breath. Continue breathing and counting your breaths.
Upon completing ten or more rounds of this belly breathing, inhale deeply; then exhale, with an
audible sigh. Once again, let your breathing become natural. Notice how you are feeling in your body,
in your mind.
Slowly become more aware of your surroundings. Prepare to return to the rest of your day or evening
a little more refreshed and relaxed. Know that you have the ability to connect with these feelings at
any time—through simple attention to your own breath.
|A Moment of Tranquility
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