Preparing for Meditation

These simple exercises will help you prepare for meditation.

Tensing and Relaxing

Do this Tense and Relax exercise to help you relax the body:

  • Inhale sharply through the nose, with 1 short and 1 long inhalation (double breath)
  • While holding your breath, tense the whole body until it vibrates with energy
  • Continue to hold your breath and the tension for five seconds
  • Exhale forcibly through the mouth, with one short and one long exhalation (double breath)
  • As you do, throw the tension out
  • Repeat several times

Regular Breathing

Inhale slowly, counting to eight. Hold the breath for eight more counts, then exhale slowly to the same count. Without pausing, inhale again — hold — exhale, each to the count of eight.

This is called the Measured Breathing Exercise. Repeat it three to six times.

You can vary the count according to your lung capacity, but always keep it equal during inhalation, holding, and exhalation. Finish your practice by inhaling deeply, then exhaling completely.