Simple Meditation Technique – Count Your Breath

Here's another component of a great, healthy attitude.

If you've never meditated before, or have tried it and given up, this method may be for you. The technique involves focusing on, and counting, deep inhalations and exhalations. Five minutes in the beginning is a great start. Work your way up from there as you begin to feel the mental and physical benefits and enjoy it more. Use a timer or just have a clock or watch close by. Soon, you should be able to do at least 15 minutes.

First, find a quiet and peaceful location. You want to be able to avoid distractions. Try to make it the same place every time. Make sure it's a pleasant location that you will enjoy coming back to each and every time. It's like your sanctuary.

Prepare yourself mentally by freeing the mind of sounds and other distractions. Some people play background noise like gently falling rain, waves from the ocean, or even forest sounds. If that's too distracting you could try the 'white noise' from a fan set on low.

Find a comfortable position that will allow the flow of your body's energy to be free and natural. If it's comfortable for you to kneel on a cushion or to sit cross-legged on the floor try that. I prefer a chair with my feet flat on the floor, sitting upright, with my hands folded together across my abdomen, or my lower dan-tien as its called.

Sit straight up with your spine extended. Visualize a string attached through your skull to your spine and that the string is being pulled straight up, or that you're balancing a bowl of water on your head. Move your body just enough to find your most comfortable position.

Relax any tightened muscles. Do a quick scan of your muscles and relax any that feel clenched or tight. You may need to do this more than once when you first start out. If you notice any tightened muscles while breathing and counting that means you've been distracted enough to notice. As you practice more you will feel the muscles are relaxed and won't have to be concerned about it. Everything is new at the beginning and may take some getting used to.

You may close your eyes or keep them slightly open and relaxed. Don't focus on any object. Keep the mouth closed, lips and teeth together. The tongue should be at the roof of your mouth directly touching the front teeth.

Slow down everything. Slow down your mind and thoughts. Slow down your body. Slow you're your breathing. Take 6 long, slow relaxing breaths as everything else relaxes and slows down.

Then, begin the meditation. As you inhale, say "And..." As you exhale, say "One." As you begin the next inhalation say, "And..." As you exhale say "Two." And so on up to ten. Then start over again.

When you experience outer and inner distractions don't allow yourself to become annoyed. Accept the inconvenience and just let them flow through you and back out. Come right back to focusing on your breathing and counting. If you lose track of your number start back at number one or at the last number you can remember counting. The mind is going to do what it does naturally--think. Just focus on your breath and the counting. Your mind will settle down.

Try giving your breath a color, like blue, and follow the blue as it enters your nostrils and starts to fill your toes, your legs, torso, arms, and all the way into your lungs. Exhale first from the lungs, arms, etc. and the last air on its way out comes from the toes. Stay awake and relaxed. Maintain good posture.

When you finish the meditation don't jump right back into activity. Take a few moments to return to the regular world before you go back to your normal routine. Think about the meditation period. Was it relaxing? What was it like before you started the meditation? What is it like now?

Do this every day. Start a routine and try to do this at the same time and for the same length of time. You should know within two or three weeks if this is right for you. If not, there's always another method. Life goes on.

Personal fitness, health issues, nutrition, and the connection of our mind and body are the things I've taken a great interest in for at least the last 30 years so I think I know of whence I speak.
I am not a physician, therapist, or any other kind of so-called expert and am not giving anyone any medical advice. I know what works for me and have spent a lot of time, money, and effort constantly learning as much as I could about all of those subjects. But I strongly advise anyone to consult their own physician before making any changes in their own life. Visit my blog for other interesting articles, video recipes featuring Chef Dog, books that I authored, and some truly free downloads--no opt-in required http://www.healthisanattitude.com

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