Harnessing the power of your breath through meditation can bring pockets of calm to your day. Breathwork expert Nahid de Belgeonne is here to show you how.
Whether you’re drawn to meditation as a way to calm your mind for the day ahead, or as a gateway to restful sleep, you’re in good company with many who look to this powerful practice as an antidote to a busy lifestyle. But we know that overcoming distractions to focus on meditation can be a challenge.
That’s where Founder of The Human Method, and yoga teacher Nahid de Belgeonne can help with her expert meditation tips.
Specialising in breathing techniques that restore and heal, Nahid is here to share her wisdom on breathing in meditation.
Breathing in meditation has many benefits
What role does meditation play in today's world?
“We live in a culture where our nervous systems are completely bombarded,” explains Nahid.
“Technology has become a constant companion and our ability to focus has become fragmented.’’
‘’Meditation helps us create a non-reactive space we can use to regroup and gain perspective, to decide how we’re going to respond to situations. Long-term, with consistent practice, it means we can train the brain to be calmer, less reactive and to handle stress more effectively.”
How does breathing in meditation differ from regular breathing?
''It’s slower'' Belgeonne says. ''Most of us average between 12 and 18 breaths per minute and you want to reduce that.''
''Try breathing in through the nose for six seconds, and out through the nose for six. This technique, called ‘using breath as a guide’, requires you to count so is especially good if you’re not sure what to focus on during meditation.''
Touching on the pace of how breathwork should be, Nahid explains “think slow, low and gentle”.
Take a moment to gently apply Plantopia’s Turmeric & Geranium-rich Deep Peace Sensory Balm, anoint pulse points and areas of tension, wrists, neck, back and chest, massaging lightly in a circular motion while focusing on the scent, which can help you centre while breathing in meditation.
“As you inhale, let the belly rise,” says Nahid. “As you exhale, let it fall. Following ‘six-in, six-out’ means averaging around five full breaths a minute.”
What’s the benefit of slower inhale and exhale breathing in meditation?
It allows your mind and body to unite. Belgeonne explains that “breathing acts as a remote control to the brain, so if you want to change your thoughts and emotions, change your breathing”.
When you do this, it alters your physiological responses.
“Slow, deep breathing through the nose into the lower lungs is called ‘diaphragmatic’ breathing and it triggers your parasympathetic nervous system which helps calm the body down.”
Wondering what kind of meditation helps in relaxing and calming minds? Choose any that involves breathwork.
What’s the best way to build meditation into my day?
Aim for consistency so it feels like second nature.
“I find first thing in the morning works well as the mind is rested and it’s easy to link it to an existing habit like brushing your teeth,” says Nahid.
Step into your morning shower, apply your Plantopia Energise & Uplift Bath & Shower Oil and massage into skin in a circular motion until the oil transforms into a silky soft milk. Find a pocket of time here to tune into your breath.
“Getting it done early means you’ll feel the benefits all day,” adds Nahid.
Plantopia products can assist you in your meditation
Where’s the best place to start?
Rip up the rule book about how meditation ‘should’ look. Comfort comes first.
“Sit or lie anywhere quiet where you feel comfortable,” explains Nahid.
“Consciously tune in to the way your body sinks into the floor, and how your belly moves in and out as you breathe through your nostrils.”
Place your fingertips on your breastbone and follow the movement as you breathe, Nahid suggests.
“This creates a neurological circuit as the external body calms the internal body and vice versa. Feeling your mind and body working together is incredibly calming.”