During Anapana meditation, you will concentrate on the physical sensations of a normal, calm breath. You will focus on the air passing through the nostrils. This practice can increase concentration and can help you stay focused for longer periods of time. to develop a calm, but focused state of mind.
Anapana meditation – brain training for runners
Anapana meditation can be a valuable tool for runners, as it can help improve focus, performance, and recovery. By practicing this type of meditation, athletes can stay more centered during races and training sessions. This can result in a more positive and effective running experience, with less mental and physical strain.
Anapana means observation of natural, normal respiration, as it comes in and as it goes out. Follow the next basic steps to practice Anapana meditation:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit where you won’t be disturbed. You can sit cross-legged on the floor, on a chair, or on a cushion, it doesn’t matter. Make sure your back is straight, your neck and body are upright and your body is relaxed.
- Breathe normally. Inhale and exhale calmly through your nose and keep your mouth closed.
- Close your eyes and focus your attention on the triangle-shaped area from the center in between your eyebrows, alongside both sides of your nose, and above your upper lip.
- Focus on your breath. Pay attention to the sensation of the air entering and leaving your nose with each in- and exhalation. Do not try to control or change your breathing, simply observe it.
- Stay present: this can be difficult when you are new to Anapana meditation. Your mind might begin to wander shortly after you started the meditation. This is normal: your brain isn’t trained yet to stay focused for 10 minutes without interruption! If you notice your mind is wandering, gently bring your attention back to your breath. Try not to judge your thoughts or get caught up in them, simply observe them and return to focusing on your breath.
- Maintain a relaxed focus: Maintain a relaxed, yet focused state of mind. Do not strain yourself or try too hard to concentrate. Simply be present and aware of your breath.
- End the meditation: After a set amount of time, usually around 10 to 20 minutes, slowly open your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Roll your shoulders back, stretch your body out, and take a moment to reflect on your experience.
It’s important to remember that meditation is a practice, and like any skill, it takes time and patience to improve. With regular practice of Anapana meditation, you will notice that you can stay focused on your breathing for longer periods of time.
Guided Anapana meditation by S.N Goenka
A very well-known meditation teacher is the late Mr. S.N. Goenka. Anapana is a type of meditation commonly practiced within the Buddhist tradition, particularly in the Insight Meditation (Vipassana) tradition. The word “Anapana” is derived from Sanskrit and means “awareness of the in-breath and out-breath”.