#4 Life lengthening Breath Meditation

When by itself the breath is retained after inhalation or exhalation – then in the end, through Energy known as peace, Peace is revealed.Verse 27, Vigyan Bhairava Tantra

The verse refers to a situation, where our breath automatically stops after inhalation or exhalation. For this to happen, we first have to practice a breathing meditation. It could be either of the three previous meditations, or it could be simple awareness of the breath.

How to do this technique

  • Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus your awareness on your breath.
  • Gradually your breath will slow down. You will be breathing in and out more gently and slowly. The cycle time of your breath will increase. It will take you longer to complete a full cycle of breath.
  • We normally breathe in and out (one cycle), 15 times a minute. This will now slow down.
  • As the span of your-breath increases, you breathe fewer times per minute. With awareness of one’s breath, this may happen automatically. Otherwise, one should try and breathe slowly and deeply.
  • When we start breathing more slowly, the mind calms down and we begin to feel more peaceful. When we breathe slowly, our breath becomes more subtle, more light.
  • Immediately we feel more relaxed, more peaceful. Gradually, the span of each breath keeps increasing. It takes us longer to breathe in and longer to breathe out.
  • The gap between breaths also keeps increasing. The breath becomes subtle and more subtle.
  • Finally, a stage may come when the breath stops altogether.
  • That is the stage this verse refers to. What happens next varies from person to person. Some may hear a sound, others may not.

The Rise Of Kundalini

Eventually, Kundalini, the dormant energy lying near the base of the spine, rises upwards through the central channel of the spine. As she rises, one feels a deep sense of peace. When she reaches the top of the head, one becomes liberated.

Life Longevity Increasing Benefits of this Technique

  • Longer Life-Span– The length of the breathing cycle has a direct effect on the life of a living being. Animals that breathe faster than humans (more breaths per minute) have a shorter life span. Those that breathe slower than humans live longer. For example, if you observe the breathing pattern of dogs, you will find that they breathe extremely rapidly. They also have much shorter life spans than humans. On the other hand, tortoises breathe very slowly, and live longer than human beings.
  • Relaxation -When we breathe slowly and deeply, we immediately feel more relaxed and peaceful This does not mean that we should practice deep breathing 24 hours a day.
  • Anger Management – Deep breathing can be very useful as a meditation practice, and is also strongly advised when one is feeling angry or tense. It immediately makes one more calm and tranquil.