Introduction to the Blue State of Stillness

4. Broaden the experience of breathing

Option 1: Shorter Silences

Option 2: Longer Silences

Welcome back.

This practice focuses on enhancing your breathing experience. You’ll expand your attention to the flow of air passing through your nose and the movement of your chest and stomach with each breath. Such a broader and fuller experience of breathing aids in the activation of Parasympathetic Rest and the deepening of restfulness during your practice of stillness.

Broad breathing experience

A broader and fuller breathing experience facilitates rest during stillness. With each breath, focus on the sensation of air entering and leaving your nose, as well as the movement of your chest and stomach with each breath.

Initially, you might find that while breathing you can only pay attention to either the flow of air in your nose or the movement of your chest and stomach. As a result, you are likely to alternate your focus between these two experiences. With practice, your awareness will naturally expand, allowing you to sense airflow in your nose and breathing movements across your stomach and chest. Eventually, you will develop a broad and full breathing experience from nose to stomach.

Note that some people sense more movement in their chest, while others sense more movement across their stomach. This may change as your breath deepens.

In 51BLUE practices, when guided to ‘follow your breath’, it means engaging in a full experience of breathing. This involves sensing the air entering and existing your nose, while simultaneously feeling the breathing movement across your stomach and chest area.

PROGRESS CHECKLIST

  • Can I sense the flow of air entering and leaving my nose?
  • Can I sense the breathing movement across my stomach and chest?
  • Can I simultaneously sense the airflow in my nose and the breathing movement across my stomach and chest?
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