Did you know that the way you breathe affects the stress you feel? In Qigong Meditation, we’re taught to monitor breathing so that it is slow, long, thin, even, and soft. Slow means that you take in and release air at a slow pace; long means your in-breathe and out-breathe have a long duration; thin means you take in a little air at a time; even means you do this smoothly; and soft means that you breathe quietly, without noticeable sound.
As you practice these five qualities during a period of meditation, your breathing gradually becomes quieter and quieter until you barely notice you are breathing at all. This is called the state of “Embryonic Breathing” or “Baby Breathing.” It’s the way you’ll see a baby breathing at rest. The sense of stillness found in this state is very relaxing—all your stress just dissolves—and you feel free from worries.
So, in the following guided meditation, I’ll lead you into the five qualities of relaxed breathing, until you settle into the calm stillness of Baby Breathing. I think you’ll find this very soothing. This is a simple way to use your breathing to reduce stress.
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