Centering with Long deep Breathing:
A Simple Yoga Meditation to Energize, De-stress and Build Mental Focus

The information below is for educational purposes only. Please read the disclaimer

For many, even thinking about meditation seems daunting, with the busy and stressed out mind seeming to be totally out of control. As with all our work in Yoga and meditation, we can begin to grow in our skill by meeting the mind where it is at and not forcing some difficult feat of focus in the early stages. The following practice is a basic centering practice and precursor to more advanced techniques

It asks the practitioner to turn inward and follow the movement of the inner experience of the sensations of breath, rather than forcing any type of one pointed focus. As the mind learns to turn inward in this way it often comes to seek the experience and becomes more amenable to deeper focus and meditation practices.

The Practice:

***Sit in a comfortable position, either cross-legged on the floor or if needed in a chair. Keep the spine straight, the belly, shoulders relaxed and the chest open. Place your hands on the knees with the palms facing up in jnana(wisdom) mudra.
***To form jnana mudra allow the index finger to lightly touch the thumb. Keep the face and jaw relaxed as you let the tongue rest on the roof of the mouth, just behind the front teeth. Allow the eyes to lightly close.
***Draw a long slow deep breath in and out in and out through the nose. Let the inhale start in the belly, expand through the base of the ribs and continue through to the chest. As the breath slows and deepens, let go of any thoughts or distractions and allow the mind to focus on the breath.
***Feel the breath as it moves in and out of the body, feeling it move through the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs.
***Extend the focus all the way through the breath to the transition between the inhale and the exhale This will help keep the attention more connected to the full breath.
***Bring as much of your awareness and attention to the feeling of your body and breath as possible with each moment. It is natural that thoughts will come, simply let them float in the background without grasping at them or pushing them away. If you get lost in thought simply return and stay with the feelings of the feelings of the body and breath as it moves through.

You can do this for 3-5 minutes and build up the time as you are able.