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Meditating like a baby – Six breathing meditations

“Consciously make your breathing as soft, even and harmonious as you can, and your mind will settle more quickly in meditation”

Dear Integral Meditators,

Everyone knows that breathing is an important part of meditation, and there are many ways to do it. The article below explores six different techniques you can try, as well as how to meditate for longer time periods.

In the spirit of the next breath,


Meditating like a baby – Six breathing meditations

Breathing meditation is something that, if you do it well can provide you with a wealth of benefits. In particular, if you use it for your longer meditations it can help you connect relatively easily to states of body, heart and mind that are both blissful and insightful. Here are six types of breathing meditation that you can use and enjoy:

Natural breathing – Give your body permission to breathe in the way that it needs to breathe in order to move towards balance and harmony. Then just keep your attention on the breathing as your body intelligence does what it needs to do to re-balance by using different breathing patterns.
Belly breathing – Breathe slightly deeper than you would usually, and send the air down into the bottom of your lungs as you begin your inhalation. If you do this you will notice your belly moving outward 2-3cms as you inhale, and back to resting position as you exhale. Focus on this belly movement as you breathe.
Incremental breathing – Place 2-3 short pauses in your inhalation in order to energize your body mind, then breathe out evenly and smoothly. To relax more deeply reverse this; as you exhale insert 2-3 short pauses, whilst inhaling smoothly and evenly.
Beautiful breathing – When are in deep meditation, your breathing naturally becomes soft, smooth, even and ‘beautiful’. Counter-intuitively, you can move more rapidly toward a deep meditation state by mimicking the pattern of the ‘beautiful breathing’; Consciously make your breathing as soft, even and harmonious as you can, and your mind will settle more quickly in meditation.
Breathing for releasing – As you breathe in acknowledge and feel the stress, tension in your body-mind. As you breathe our practice releasing it. This can accelerate your ability to move from a state of tension to a state of conscious, alert relaxation.
Breathing for particular flow states – Select a quality or state that you want to cultivate, for example love, playfulness or confidence. Having generated the quality, as you inhale open your body to the experience, as you breathe our relax into it. Use the rhythm of the breathing to set up a focused ‘flow state’ with that quality or state.

Pacing yourself like a baby – How to meditate for more than 20minutes without getting tired.
You can use any of the above breathing meditations to do longer meditation sessions. The key with longer meditation sessions is not to try to hard at the beginning, and find yourself mentally exhausted after only 15-20mins. I have a three-week-old baby right now. She feeds for about half an hour. During that time she will ‘suck, suck, suck’ for a while, then she will rest. When ready to start sucking again off she goes. The whole session is sucking with regular rest periods. Similarly, if you are meditating for 20mins or more, when you feel yourself getting tired, just relax your concentration for a few moments, rest, and then when ready continue. When you resume, you can pick up the momentum that you already have built in the meditation, so you aren’t ‘starting from the beginning’. This is a skillful way of meditating effectively and enjoyably for longer periods. Go deep without burning out!

Article © Toby Ouvry 2020, please do not reproduce without permission. Contact


Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – Breathing meditation livestream masterclass

Learn a multi-faceted breathing meditation practice that helps you grow and learn in the face of life’s challenges, and connect you to deep inner stability.

Many mindfulness and meditation techniques use the breathing. However, with only superficial understanding meditation on the breathing can easily become stagnant, mechanical and, after a while boring! This masterclass teaches six complementary breathing techniques that will help you to…
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Sunday June 21st & 28th, 5-5.50pm
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This meditation, done on or around the full moon capitalises on the heightened lunar energies at this time of the month to:

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Weekly Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

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Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – Breathing meditation livestream masterclass

Sunday June 21st, 28th – Qi gong workout class

Sunday 5th July, 6-7pm – Online Monthly Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session

Coming in July – High performance bootcamp: Using mindfulness to operate at your peak without burning out

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