This meditation only takes a minute or so. You can do it anywhere, at any time. You can even do it with your eyes open, while standing in a queue or waiting at the traffic lights.

When tense, we hold our breath and the out-breaths tend to be short. This gives us a certain energy charge, so we can respond quickly to danger if necessary. In contrast, we only let the breath go completely when we relax and it feels safe to do so.

By breathing deeply and deliberately sighing, we mimic the physiological effect of relaxation. It sends signals to the mind saying “It’s okay to relax now.” This is probably the fastest way to induce the relaxation response.

So breathe deeply and sigh seven times, but don’t force the sighs. Just breathe in deeply and then let go as much as feels right each time. Then wait for the new breath to come when it wants to. After three or four breaths, you’ll find your whole body letting go in sympathy.

Instructions

  • Breathe deeply, sigh and pause. Wait for the next breath.
  • Breathe deeply again, sigh and pause. Repeat seven times.
  • Each sigh is usually deeper and softer than the one before.
  • Rest in that stillness at the end of each breath.
  • Seven sighs is quite enough.
  • Now enjoy the natural breathing as long as you like.

I found the course to be very practical.

I like the way the lessons have built on each other — starting from the basics and leading into more layers of understanding.

Everything is presented clearly and simply in a way that kind of demystifies meditation without reducing its impact or importance.

David T.