Chest and Tummy Breathing
Now let’s see if we can bring our focus of attention to our breathing. We call this practice chest and tummy breathing.
Starting by putting one hand on your tummy and one hand on your chest. Bringing your attention to how the movement of your breathing feels. Practising holding your attention on your breathing and noticing the sensations you feel.
When your mind wanders off like a puppy, because, this will happen, bringing your attention back to the breath with kind, patient repetition.
Explore your breath, where do you feel it most?
FOFBOC – (Feet on floor, Bottom or Body on Chair)
Start by tuning into any kind of wobbling that might be happening in your body or mind, this may be big or small. Finding a quiet place to practice or being in your own bubble. You may choose to close your eyes if this is helpful.
Starting to focus your attention on the feel of your bottom/body on the chair and your feet on the floor. Then narrowing the spotlight of attention to your feet. Noting the contact your feet are making with the floor. Bringing a friendly interest, exploring and bringing your attention to any sensations you notice in your feet. You may notice buzzing, tingling, contact of your shoes and socks, maybe toes touching.
Then gradually expandinthe torchlight of attention to include your ankles, lower legs, upper legs and your bottom on the chair. Noticing as you tune into each part of the lower body the sensations you are experiencing.
Now settling your attention on the lower part of your body as a whole, noticing your steady base, maybe even a sense of an anchor. Tuning in and noticing how the ground and the chair are supporting you.
Then starting to connect to the sensations of the breath in your tummy. Noticing the breath flowing in and the breath flowing out. As your noticing the sensations of the breath coming in and out continuing to hold in your awareness your steady base.
Finally bringing your attention to the whole body sitting here, extending your awareness to your posture and noticing your surrounds.
So now let’s practise feeling the flow and rhythm of the breath using our fingers.
Firstly, letting your hands rest on your lap or on your table and starting to tune into the sensations of your breathing. Feeling the sensation of the breath coming in and the breath flowing out. Noticing where you feel the breath the most in your body maybe, the tummy or maybe the chest. Tuning into particularly the moment when the breath starts to come in and the moment it starts to flow out. If your attention wanders, that’s okay, we can just choose to bring our attention back to the breath.
Secondly, hold one of your hands up to face you and trace with the finger of the other hand up and down the fingers. Then starting to trace the breath flow in connection with your fingers. Moving your finger up the finger of the hand facing you on the inbreath and down the finger on the outbreath. The breath will let you know how fast to move the finger. Letting the finger pause at the tip of the finger at the end of the inbreath and pause at the base of the finger at the end of the outbreath. Tuning in to the moment when the inbreath becomes the outbreath and the outbreath becomes the inbreath. And if the mind wanders this is not a problem, when you notice beginning again at the start of the inbreath or outbreath.
Continue to do this practice for the next minute or so.
The Petal Practice
Finding a comfortable sitting position. Starting to notice the sensations of your feet making contact with the floor and the contact of your body on the chair or seat. Tuning into the shape of your body as you sit, noticing your back, tall and upright.
Now bring your focus to your breathing , starting to notice where you feel it most in your body. Noticing whether your breathing is fast or slow, deep or shallow. There is no need to change anything, you are just tuning into the breath. The breath can help us recognise how we are feeling. Noticing the breath coming in and the breath flowing out for in few moments.
Then using one hand gently bring your fingertips and thumb together, like closed petals. Reconnecting with the flow of your breath, As you feel an outbreath beginning, begin to slowly open your fingers wide as the breath moves out. As the breath moves in gently bring your fingers and thumb together again. Continue to repeat this with the rhythm of your breathing. Really opening, extending and releasing the hand out on the out-breath and gently closing on the in-breath. You may like to close your eyes doing this practice. Exploring how this feels with a friendly curiosity.
And you may prefer to open the hand on the inbreath and close the hand on the outbreath. Noticing during the practice what works for you.
Continue to open and close the hand for the next minute or so to the rhythm of the breath. Remembering, no need to change the breath just following the natural flow.