What is breath watching?

Breath watching is the most basic form of breathing meditation, where you simply observe your breath. It means breathing mindfully and being aware of each breath you take. It means using your breath as an anchor and learning how to be present regardless of whatever rises in your mind.

As easy as it may sound, watching your breath takes some getting used to. Deliberately focusing on your breath may cause you to breathe differently. You may find that you are trying to control your breath or breathe in a particular way. You may get distracted by or reject the thoughts in your head, getting caught up with why you were thinking that thought in the first place. You may be struggling with yourself when the goal is actually to let yourself go and simply breathe naturally.

When you watch your breath, you observe how it feels to breathe, noticing where the breath goes, the sensations linked to the inhalation and the exhalation, the sensations on the tip of your nose. You notice the aspects of your breath, such as speed and depth and the voluntary and involuntary pauses in the breathing cycle.

Watching the breath means allowing it to come and go by itself without making an effort to pull the breath in or push it out. It has restorative, calming and rejuvenating effects for both your body and mind.