Learn about cultivating an alert quality of mind through controlled chest breathing
Greetings everyone. Thank you for joining this Patient Empowerment Network program. In this practice session we will be exploring active breathing as a form of meditative practice. Before we start the practice, I want to state that the quality of your breathing is intimately related to the qualitative experience of your mind.
In this session we will be taking advantage of this relationship between the mind and the breath by manipulating the breath in order to manipulate and regulate the mind. To start our practice, find a comfortable seat. A chair is perfectly fine. You may also make arrangements to support your back if necessary. Allow your eyes to softly close if you feel comfortable doing so. By closing the eyes, you minimize visual distractions. Begin to feel the weight of your body in your seat. Begin to lengthen your spine. Relaxing your shoulders. Lengthening the back of your neck. Relaxing your jaw, and the musculature of the face. Begin to take notice of the natural flow of your breath. Maybe by attending to your torso, the abdominal or chest areas, or the movement of the air as it passes through your nostrils. I invite you to imagine your torso as a cylindrical tube made of a lower chamber, the abdominal area, and an upper chamber, the chest area. In this practice we will focus on the upper chamber, the chest area. The lower chamber/abdominal area will remain steady and still throughout this practice.
If you like, you can rest a hand on your chest to help you with this exercise. Begin by actively exhaling the breath out the nostrils. Then begin to inhale smoothly and gradually through the nostrils, feeling the expansion of the upper chamber by allowing your lower ribs to fan out in all directions without straining, then your mid chest to upper chest and back without straining. When the upper chamber fills, gently and smoothly exhale out the nostrils allowing the chest area to descend. Continue this smooth and gradual controlled breathing in and out the nostrils as long as time permits. Allowing your next exhalation to be your final round and return to attending to the natural flow of your breath. Gently open your eyes. We hope you enjoyed this Patient Empowerment Network program.