These basic meditation exercises complement the progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) technique discussed in detail in the 'how to meditate for beginners.' While PMR is specifically done prior to meditation, the exercises listed here can be done at any time of the day. In the basic meditation exercises we've been practicing so far we:~ Make our inhales and exhales the same length. Continuing with heart breathing, visualize a heavy, swinging pendulum and let the swing move your breath in and out, from the chest area.
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You can even weave them into your normal workout regimen to work on the flexibility and suppleness of your muscles.Unlike a regular exercise routine, which usually focuses on anaerobic exertion, basic meditation exercises stress upon diaphragmatic breathing.
However in the beginning it is good to try different exercises and discover which help to quieten the mind. When it is regular the clock goes on regularly, when slow the clock goes slow, when quick the clock goes fast. 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. Continuing from our previous practices we now want to imagine we are breathing in and out from our heart area.


For example, I might have a thought I would like to send to the world or to someone I am thinking about.
Repeat as many times as you like.Start with inhaling into the belly, then into the lower chest and finally into the upper chest (raise your shoulders a bit, if need be).
Exhale in the reverse direction ending with pulling in your tummy toward the spine to completely empty the lungs. Keep sending out the same thought or words on each exhale.This practice can also be used to ask a question. Both the inhale and the exhale should be in one continuous flow.After the quick introduction to diaphragmatic breathing, let us talk about some basic meditation exercises.
The first one is pretty straightforward: Stretch and ReleaseNotice any tension in the body. Keep sending the question out on the exhale and inhaling normally (don't put the question on the inhale). Stretch that body part and breathe diaphragmatically at least three times, and if possible, up to seven times. 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. Repeat the exercise for every part of the body where you feel tension.Spine CompressThis exercise will strengthen your back muscles and help in keeping your spine erect when you sit in meditation. Start by stretching your spine vertically as much as possible while keeping the arms at the sides the whole time.
Hunch and make yourself as short as possible without moving your legs.Repeat as long as comfortable.
Become aware of any sensations in the body.At all times, remember to maintain a continuous flow of breath while doing these exercises.
Shallow breaths will result in improper circulation and reduce the benefits you can derive from doing these exercises.The next section discusses three more basic meditation exercises.



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