Tracing your breath: a meditation .. and a true story!
Tracing your breath: try my adaptation of this breathing meditation practice which has been passed by yoga student, to yoga teacher, to thousands of students including a compassionate doctor which has used it to change people’s lives!
Start your meditation sitting comfortably tall and relaxed for your meditation. Spread the fingers of the right hand out and place your left index finger at the outside of the base of your right little finger. As you inhale, trace your finger along your right little finger matching your breath and your movement so that when you have fully inhaled your are at the top. Exhaling, trace your finger back down to the base, matching breath and movement. When you have completely exhaled your finger is at the base. Continue like this, inhaling to the top, exhaling back down. When you reach your thumb reverse your direction and continue as you are. You can continue this breathing practice for as long as you want.
When you have settled into a pleasant, easy rhythm see if you can go a level deeper into your meditation practice by allowing the breath to start and the movement to follow a moment later. Breath first, movement follows right behind. It’s like you become a passive follower of your own, natural, relaxed, rhythm of breathing. This helps switch off your busy ‘thinking’ mind and allows you to dwell in your quieter ‘being’ mind.
Huge thanks to Leah Bennet who shared this practice with me as her final practicum during yoga teacher training. Huge thanks to Christina, the most compassionate, passionate doctor I have ever had the pleasure of sharing retreat time with.
“I use some of Sylvia’s tools EVERY SINGLE WEEK. In the past two months I have been able teach a woman to breathe through her anxiety using finger tracing and it enabled her to significantly lessen her pain medication use, which, through a series of systemic impacts, allowed her to leave the hospital, and do so with improved cognition, after a week’s long stay. Another one of my patients has been weaned off medications that result in all sorts of badness, by also using this technique during her dialysis sessions!”
Christina Prather, MD.
Stay connected to your breath and go a level deeper when you really need to switch off that busy thinking mind and just simply be!
Stay tuned on social media for your ‘Weekend Breather’ with me; we’ll practice two minutes of Breath Tracing together.