In the basic meditation exercises we’ve been practicing so far we:
~ Make our inhales and exhales the same length.
~ Breathe fully and consciously.
~ Are aware of our heartbeat or pulse and are using that to coordinate our breathing (ie, we exhale to a count of 6 heartbeats and inhale 6 beats).
Inhaling and exhaling is just like the pendulum of the clock. When it is regular the clock goes on regularly, when slow the clock goes slow, when quick the clock goes fast. So it is with us. When our breath is rhythmic, all things go well–the mechanism of our body, the working of our mind, and the work of our feelings.
–Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Swinging Breath is a practice to coordinate our mind and heart. Continuing from our previous practices we now want to imagine we are breathing in and out from our heart area. This is one of the basic meditation exercises for Heart Rhythm Practice.
6 1/2 Guided Meditation on the Swinging Breath
Continuing with heart breathing, visualize a heavy, swinging pendulum and let the swing move your breath in and out, from the chest area. No pause in breathing after inhalation or exhalation. Inhales and exhales are the same length.
As you exhale, the swing takes your breath away on a big arc. How far does it go for you? To the horizon? Further? Then, on the inhale the breath returns to you, swinging back from far away.
The breath will start deepening itself in this rhythmic movement.
We’re combining the two elements of rhythm and breath.
See how far you can imagine the swing going out to the horizon. Then see it swinging back to you. The swing only needs a gentle push at the right time to keep it going. Enjoy swinging the breath now for 5-10 minutes.
This is one of the basic meditation exercises which creates entrainment between your heart and mind. This is also known as coherence, which is a physiological state where your nervous system, cardiovascular, hormonal and immune systems are working efficiently and harmoniously. — Heart Math Company (heartmath.org)
The swinging breath can be used to send messages from your conscious to your unconscious mind through repetition. To do this you simply take a thought or idea and send it out with every exhalation. For example, I might have a thought I would like to send to the world or to someone I am thinking about. On the exhale I place my thought on the swing and send it out to the horizon. Keep sending out the same thought or words on each exhale.
This practice can also be used to ask a question. You formulate the question and put it on the swing and send it out on the exhale. Keep sending the question out on the exhale and inhaling normally (don’t put the question on the inhale). Your unconscious mind will eventually send you a reply in the form of a spontaneous thought or idea.
Most people really like this simple practice of swinging the breath and it is the beginning of learning to use your breath to go beyond your own physical body.