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A simple breathing practice - counting

31st May, 2017        

If you are new to pranayama (breath control), a very accessible practice is to become aware of your own natural breathing rhythm through focused listening and counting.

Sit or lie comfortably and begin by placing your hands on your belly and rib cage to find where the movement is. Spend some time just being aware of the movement: where it’s happening, the speed and quality of the breath, any natural pauses etc. Then you can add in a count, so as you inhale count to yourself “1, 2, 3..”  etc, until your inhale finishes. Allow any natural pause to happen, then exhale and count again “1, 2, 3…” etc until your  exhale finishes. Count roughly one number per second.

This breathing practice will help you become aware of any  difference in length between your inhale and exhale, and can lead  on to other breathing practices such as equal breathing and ratio breathing with controlled retentions (pauses) of the breath.