7 Ways to Improve Your Concentration During Breathing Exercises

February 08, 2021, Publisher: Breath Hub

The number of people practicing breathwork increases every day. Many turn to breathwork to relax, calm down, get better sleep, improve their athletic performance, cope with anxiety disorders, or simply feel better. You may be just getting started with breathwork and breathing techniques, or you may be practicing for some time. Either way, you could be having trouble concentrating during breathing exercises. Let's look at how you can improve your focus.

What is breathwork?

In both Eastern and Western practices, breathing is perceived as a means of physical and mental well-being, raising awareness, spiritual enlightenment, and bonding with the whole. When we use our breath correctly, it has psychological effects such as a balanced mood, an open mind, an intense concentration, and physiological benefits such as strengthening the immune system and boosting energy.

The first step of breathwork is to become aware of breathing that occurs spontaneously. We intentionally focus our attention on our breath, observe the breath and allow it to flow naturally. When a breathing exercise is done properly, a spontaneous concentration accompanies the process. We focus on the spontaneity of breathing, the experience of it, and we harmonize with it.

What is the importance of focus in breathwork?

Respiration, an ordinary, passive bodily function, transforms into an active means of healing when we direct our focus from our thoughts to our breathing, to the body's natural movement. But we may not always succeed in concentrating the way we want. Many of us have pretty busy minds. Our thoughts interfere, and our focus is interrupted. Especially in the initial phases, it is natural to have difficulty focusing. But, how can we deal with a mind that works nonstop?

Get to know your mind

Knowing our mind helps us to cooperate with it. The difficulty of focusing is more about the mind's structure than a problem unique to our time. In our everyday life, the mind continually wanders off and pursues myriad thoughts. In Buddhist culture, this condition is called "the monkey mind." When you can't gather your attention, remember that this is a natural phase.

Make distraction part of the work

Your mind can continue to be active during a breathwork session. Remember that interruption of your focus is part of the process. Bring your disorganized mind into the work. The point here is not to get stuck on your thoughts but to let them go by. Observe your mind. Gently return to your centre when you lose focus or your mind is preoccupied with thoughts.

Don't push yourself

  • It is essential to be in a relaxed, passive attitude to thoughts passing through our minds. Set it free, instead of fighting with your mind. Don't try to keep your focus; don't make an effort to stay calm. Let the concentration occur naturally.

Give yourself some time

  • Our minds may be constantly busy during a breathing exercise. Even in that case, if we can return to our breath every time we notice we're distracted, we can consider that a successful breathwork exercise. Remember, the perfect focus may not be possible in the initial stages. The more you practice, the stronger your concentration will become. Be patient.

Watch out for physical conditions

  • Contrary to popular belief, physical conditions are essential to keep yourself focused. You should be feeling comfortable during practice. And, supporting your back in your seat or lying down can help with that. Being too hungry, too full, or thirsty interrupts focus as they cause physical discomfort. Avoid practicing breathwork, especially right after a heavy meal.

Become an observer in your everyday life

  • Another factor that affects our focus is our daily state of mind. If we live with a mostly disorganized and unfocused mind, it won't be easy to achieve the opposite during breathwork. Remind yourself to keep an eye on your thoughts during the day. Be aware of your words, actions, feelings and try to find the thoughts behind them. We often identify ourselves with our thoughts, so it isn't easy to distance ourselves from them. But when we succeed in watching our thoughts from a distance, even when we just strive to do that, we realize that we are not the same with our thoughts. It opens doors for us to be freer about ourselves.

Use the process to get to know yourself

  • There are many different kinds of breathwork, breathing exercises, and techniques. If your focus doesn't improve, it may be useful to choose another method. You may find some techniques more suitable for yourself than others. Be free to find your own way. Use this process to get to know yourself. As you get to know yourself, you'll come to see that your mind is cooperating with you, instead of interfering with your process.