Our expert says:
Hi bigplay - much of yoga (and meditation) is only about controlling the breath - that means that this vast study, over thousands of years covers a topic that happens autonomously, without thought, in the body... So, firstly it’s ok to be challenged by the difficulties of learning to regulate the breathing (and in so doing, the mind) and secondly its better to approach the practise incrementally - start simply! Freedom comes from a combination of being aware, coupled with understanding that everything you do is a result of your own choice - to use your illustration: first realise when you are breathing in a certain way then exercise the choice to change it. As a breath awareness exercise, I suggest going out into your garden, a park, somewhere in nature, sitting comfortably maybe against a tree to support the spine with legs crossed, taking a few deeps breaths - breathing in your environment. When you feel relaxed and settled, take a few minutes to just focus on your breathing - you might choose to count them - 1 on inhale, 2 on exhale through to 10, then start again at 1. You will notice that your mind wanders and that thoughts arise, but whenever you notice that, bring yourself back to the breath and the count, starting again if you have lost count. Try not to compete, don't get angry when you get distracted and just enjoy being in a peaceful space. This simple exercise, practiced regularly for only a few minutes a day will set you off on a path of meditation and deliver untold benefits - now go out and try it!
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.