Centering Exercise: Circle Breathing
Prevention Magazine . March, 2004
You have a choice to practice stress or to practice peace
Whenever you feel stressed, remember that you have a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace. Then take 5 or 10 circle breaths. Soon your body and mind will shift into circle breathing automatically when you’re scattered, anxious, or off center. Make it your goal to try this centering exercise 10 times a day this week, if you can. That will help your body and mind form a strong, positive habit.
- Inhale, and stretch your arms over your head, giving a sigh of relief and lowering your arms as you exhale. Relax and keep your arms lowered for the rest of the exercise.
- Now imagine that you’re inhaling a stream of peaceful energy into a spot a few inches below your navel.
- Inhale the warm stream into the base of your spine, then imagine it traveling up your back to the top of your head.
- Exhale, and mentally follow your out breath back down the front of your body to the point below the navel where you’ll begin the next in breath. Your breath has now made full circle up the back of your body, down the front, and back to the starting place below your navel.
- Continue this breathing pattern for 5 to 10 breaths. You can also use circle breathing for a longer period as a relaxing form of meditation.