Meditation is all about relaxation, and even though specific binaural beats meditation music is engineered to induce deep states of relaxation to combat stress and anxiety or cultivate deeper spiritual awareness, this process can be enhanced by simply learning to breathe properly.
I say “breathing properly”, because done in the wrong way breathing can increase stress and alertness. When a person says “breathe” we generally associate this with inhaling.
But exhaling is as much a part of the process as inhaling. Taking huge gulps of air and not exhaling properly can make us even more stressed and anxious When we inhale deeply and repeatedly the heart beats faster and levels of carbon dioxide fall as oxygen levels increase.
When we want to relax we should breath slowly, using long exhales. You may have heard of a technique used by those who suffer from panic attacks that involves breathing through a paper bag: breathing in for six seconds and out for six seconds using the same air over agin stops a person hyperventilating and restores carbon dioxide levels, which helps them to calm down and relax.
When we want to bring about a state of calm, relaxed awareness for meditation, we must use the same principle. Long, deep breaths with a focus on exhaling.
This not only relaxes the body but the mind too. So while you’re relaxing, listening to a binaural beats recording and letting go of the day, focus on the exhale. Let the inhale happen by itself and exhale fully until you are empty of breath.
The rising level of carbon dioxide will quickly make you more and more relaxed. This technique is great for slowing down an overactive mind, which is also great for those who have trouble sleeping.
The digram below shows exactly what happens when we breathe, and as you can see, too much “breathing” can wreak havoc on the body.
When you think about it, in all situations conducive to better performance and well-being, slowing down the breath is important.
Sprinters used controlled breathing, performers temper nerves with breathing exercises , singers use special breathing techniques to get the most out of their vocal talents and swimmers use strategic breathing to optimise performance.
Breathing assists in not just cultivating the correct state of mind, but also in helping the body achieve optimum performance.
When you next meditate or listen to a guided meditation, focus on your breath, in particular exhaling. Take deep breaths and exhale for three or more seconds.
Literally watch your breath and become one with this life force. You'll be amazed at how quickly the mind comes to centre, and how much deeper your meditation experience goes.