Mindfulness Breathing Regulated by Consciousness

For the reasons above, it is critical that you observe your natural breath in your everyday meditation practice; however, it is also critical that you consider and know when to use conscientious breath control. 

Your breath and your physiological states of well-being are inextricably linked, as described in the science section. 

Shallow, choppy breathing could suggest nervousness—or that you've just run five miles! You might be angry if your breath is fast. You can feel very comfortable if it is quite soft and subtle.

Breath is a clear indicator of how you're feeling.

  • You may need to control your breathing at times during your yoga session or everyday life in order to calm yourself down, feel more responsive to yourself, or relax a little more profoundly. 
  • Elongating your breath is beneficial in all of these situations. 
  • You should pause for a second to breathe more slowly while still maintaining control of your breathing.
  • So, when you meditate, use your normal breath much of the time, but note that mindfully softening, deepening, or elongating your breath can be beneficial from time to time. 
  • You can do this practice at any time during the day, particularly when you are feeling challenged. 

Jenny, a 45-year-old software developer, said the following story:

I was really disappointed when I left my boss's office. She told me that some employees might be laid off, and that I could be one of them. They'd have to see it through through the next cycle, but there's no promise. My breathing was tight and shallow as I walked down the corridor. My heart was pounding furiously. So I came to a complete halt in the middle of the hall and took a few deep breaths, relaxing through the tightness in my chest. I was starting to feel much more comfortable after just a few seconds. I reminded myself that I had no idea what would happen next.

You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.