Breath awareness is probably one of the most accessible tools when it comes to meditation. The simple act of breathing in and out of our nose accesses the parasympathetic nervous system which automatically calms us and relaxes us. But there are several approaches when in comes to using the breath as a focus. This “pregnant pause” practice is one of my favorites. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Take a few deep breaths in and out through your nose. Just becoming aware of the breath flowing through your body.
Step 2: Begin to take slower deeper breaths as you lengthen your inhale and exhale.
Step 3: Now – notice that pause between in the inhale and the exhale. See if you can just rest in that space at both the top of the inhale and again at the bottom of the exhale. Never feel like you need to force an inhale or exhale.
Step 4: Find the rhythm that feels comfortable to you. You ideally want to evenly inhale and pause and then slowly exhale and pause. Continue for a few cycles and when you feel ready, return to your natural breath.
The breath is always with us and this pause is where presence lies. So with a little bit of intention, this is a powerful tool to bring us in the present moment.