Focus on Breathing

Besides training my mind for “soft focus”, I find that focusing on my breathing is a challenge. As part of the routine preparation for meditation, my guide tells me to be aware of my breathing, to become aware of how it feels to take air in. The moment I bring my attention to my breathing it feels WEIRD. I begin by trying to breathe deeply. . . resulting in feeling a little light-headed. I try to breathe naturally. . . and I can’t find my rhythm.

My husband has always called me a budgie breather. As a Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 9.20.00 AMcertified dive instructor, he tried to teach me SCUBA diving during a trip to Ontario and I barely tapped the air tank, although his was empty. As a former firefighter, after any practice or emergency requiring donning our SCBA tanks, my tank was the only one that could be returned to the truck without requiring a refill. I “sip” air. I really notice this when I am trying to do anything active. Picking up running again after not doing it for a while, it is always my puffing and gasping that I struggle with, not my muscles.

I have used “box breathing” while feeling stressed to bring awareness to my breathing and also to hold air in my body for longer periods of time.

While looking for breathing exercises and specific guided meditations involving breathing, I discovered 4-7-8 breathing. What I liked best about the following video is how Dr. Weil describes this as a practice. I should know by now that meditation and mindfulness is not about instant gratification, so I guess it is ok that even my breathing can still be giving me some challenges!

I am a beginner, after all! One thing that I have learned is my preference for being in savasana position while doing meditation. Whenever I am seated and trying to meditate (even in a chair), I keep my core tightly engaged. I can’t seem to break the habit. The only time my breathing seems effective for the purpose of meditation is while in savasana.

Any suggestions to help me learn better breath control would be appreciated!