To many, peace of mind is something that is difficult to achieve. Pulling off life’s demands on a regular basis often results in overthinking, feelings of being exhausted, worried, and anxious. Sometimes, these lead to depression and other mental issues. Breathing meditation techniques will find relevance in this discussion.
The number of people dealing with stress and mental issues at present is drastically rising worldwide. Although it is as important as physical health, peace of mind or mental health is usually overlooked by many because it may be an imperceptible infirmity.
People fighting with everyday stress and various forms of mental health problems and concerns find it difficult to think clearly, to react, to cope, and to deal with daily challenges, with complex situations, and even with other human beings or their peculiarities. These human stressors have a huge impact on the quality of life, health, work productivity, and performance.
Alternative Way to Combat Stress
While we are all aware that mental illness and issues need immediate medication, we can also use alternative methods to at least pacify our minds and reduce and fight such stress.
As mentioned, one of the simplest methods is meditation, with proper breathing techniques. This is considered as one of the very basic and very significant practices to drift away from mental turmoil.
As you meditate, somehow, you can feel that you are at peace: have harmony with nature or in agreement with mankind. It can give you a sense of calmness. You can successfully manage your tension. Ultimately, you can effectively refresh your mind.
Prana Darana | Breathing Awareness
There are various types of meditation techniques. A simple one is called Prana Darana. We will only concentrate on this type of meditation, as the author believes that this can be applicable to all.
Prana means breathe and Darana means awareness. It is much easier to meditate when we quiet our minds and focus on a single thing. This can even be done efficaciously in the comfort of your own home.
Hence, this may well prove to be an effective meditation exercise. For all the simplicity in its approach, it, nevertheless, tends to target your mind to think about the flow of air when you breathe. This practice mainly involves breathing, and it can be done effortlessly.
First, you have to sit in a proper posture for meditation. Posture is a significant thing to observe before you begin to meditate.
Breathing Postures | Poses to Ponder Upon
There are several types of postures which you can apply for breathing meditation. These include Siddhasana, Padmasana and Swastikasana.
Siddhasana is termed as the perfect pose. While a beginner level yoga position, it is also regarded as the accomplished pose. Its etymology “Siddha” has two distinct meanings: “perfect” and “accomplished”. On the other hand, “asana”, as we all know in the yoga world, means “pose” or “posture”.
Padmasana is popularly known in yoga parlance as the Lotus Position. This is a cross-legged yoga posture. This form very well assists one in having a deeper meditation. This is, likewise, practiced to soothe the mind and ease several physical illnesses. Consistent and unvarying repetition of this posture may result in total blossoming of the yoga practitioner, thus, being compared to a thriving lotus flower. Padmasana name was coined in this regard.
Swastikasana or the Auspicious Pose is an easy meditation pose for those who cannot attempt the more difficult asanas like Padmasana and Siddhasana. The India symbol of Swastika is a symbol of auspiciousness. In Swastikasana, the position of the legs resembles the symbol of the Swastika. The word Swastika comes from the Sanskrit root words – ‘Su’ meaning good, ‘Asti’ means ‘to be’ or ‘existence’ and ‘Ka’ means to make. This asana can be described as one that helps to realize the unity of existence.–Yogic Way of Life
However, if you still cannot do the said poses, you can only sit cross-legged with your knees rested on the ground. You have to do this with your eyes closed and with your back not leaned forward.
The reason why you have to keep your eyes closed is to avoid disruption or distraction which could completely remove your focus on the single object: the flow of air when you start to breathe.
Meditation Techniques For Beginners | How to Meditate?
To begin, you have to slowly relax your muscles. However, you have to keep your back and shoulders straight to avoid slouching.
It is necessary to relax your body and avoid putting any pressure and tension on your feet, spine, neck, thighs, and knees. This procedure will efficiently avoid discomfort while you meditate.
During your breathing state, you have to maintain a relaxing posture. Likewise, you should stay away from putting any tension along the abdominal wall by inhaling and exhaling gently, smoothly, and effortlessly.
You also have to completely relax your facial muscles. Whenever stress is on the rise, tension builds up in our body and facial muscles.
That is why, it is necessary to keep the muscles around our face as relaxed as possible, including our forehead while doing meditation techniques.
You can achieve this by simply maintaining a small gap between your jaws such that the upper and lower teeth do not touch each other. At this juncture, nonetheless, your mouth should have been closed.
Muscle relaxation releases the tension you have been holding in your body. The small gap between the two jaws removes the pressure on your face.
Moreover, it is necessary to avoid moving your jaws, lips, and tongue. You should keep your eyeballs and eyelids steady.
After getting and achieving the proper posture, you can now gradually start focusing on your breathing: inhaling and exhaling slowly and feeling the airflow within your body.
Nevertheless, you must breathe smoothly while maintaining an upright spine and relaxed body and muscles. It is also necessary not to think of anything and say any word. You must focus your attention only on the flow of air within your body.
The Undeniable Benefits of Meditation
This has been proven to produce long-term health benefits. Taking a few minutes off to do this type of meditation on a regular basis can help you cope up with stressful situations. Breathing coordination and focused meditation may produce peace of mind.
It does not only help you learn to be mindful and maintain your sanity but it also relaxes your muscles and helps you keep in proper posture. This can also be helpful for those who are having trouble sleeping because of racing thoughts, stress, and overthinking.
Doing some breathing meditation before going to sleep can help you soothe your mind and get rid of the intrusive thoughts that disrupt your inner peace. The relaxed cerebral function yields bountiful sleep. You may then rest very well.
Good mental health has variety of benefits. It makes you enjoy and live your life to the fullest. It also affects your physical health in a positive way.
It is undisputed that too much stress typically wears you down and weakens your immune system. This can plainly make you sick, not only mentally but physically.
Studies have shown that there are various health problems related to stress. These can be like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, gastrointestinal disease, asthma and many more.
Hence, it is necessary to keep in mind the importance of mental health in order to maintain good physical health. A balanced and healthy mind produces physical health.