Author Topic: side effect to breath awareness meditation  (Read 6301 times)

melinderry

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side effect to breath awareness meditation
« on: June 28, 2008, 09:51:21 AM »
Hi, I havent started vipassana yet but I recently posted because I want to start, and have a bit of an anxiety problem. Someone suggested first doing breath awareness meditation to calm. the thing is that I have tried that and have come up with a problem. After practicing regularly for a few days, I find I become hyperconcious of my breathing in normal life after the practise, it alters my normal breathing pattern, and I end up with a sore chest and overbreathing. no matter how much I try to alter this I cant seem to find a way to do so . The only solution so far is to stop practising for some days, ignore it as much as possible, and my breathing goes back to normal. Then I start practising again, it seems fine for a while, and then that starts up again. my breathing goes calm and slow while I practise, but then Iget that side effect.
I have also tried practising with a mantra (I know thats not a practise vipassana encourages) and the same thing happens as the mantra goes along with the breath and then that alters my breathing pattern after and I become hyper concious of it. Maybe I have a bit of an obsessional mind and that is why, I dont know.
Is there a solution to this, or could I skip breath awareness altogether and just learn and practice vipassana?
Thank you very much!!

Flipasso

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Re: side effect to breath awareness meditation
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2008, 08:55:04 PM »
I think you have a little something to work with...
When I first learnt about meditation it was a video of Swasthya Yoga, the teacher had a very good explaination of what samatha meditation was.
He said that you could concentrate (for samatha) on a mantra, a yantra(image), or tantra.
I'm still to know what tantra is but...
... my point is maybe you can start off with samatha with the help of a yantra, such as the image of the buddha or a kasina.
EDIT - or, if it's not too disturbing, you can continue working with the breath and see if that fades...
Experienced Samatha(jhana) practiocioners, do you think samatha can help this condition?  ???
« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 03:46:37 PM by Flipasso »

mark

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Re: side effect to breath awareness meditation
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2008, 08:48:58 AM »
If your chest is hurting through overbreathing as you call it, it may mean that you are using effort to draw a lot of air in, and it sounds like you are chest breathing rather than abdominal breathing. A way to fix this is to sit comfortably in a chair and place your hand on your tanden, a couple of inches below your navel. Use your lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to push the air out by squeezing them toward your spine. Your hand should move in when you are breathing out. To breath in just relax your abdominal muscles and let your tummy pop out as if you have just had a big meal. While you are breathing in this way your shoulders should not rise and your chest should not expand too much. Remember, focus on the outbreath and just relax your muscles for the inbreath.  When you are chest breathing, you tend to breath too much air in and not enough out and you get a build up of CO2 in your lungs and the feeling of overfullness increases your anxiety. So PUSH the air out, then relaaaaaxxxxx.  They don't need to be deep breaths, especially if you are seated and comfortable. If you are practicing counting your breaths only count the outbreaths till you get familiar with this type of breathing. You can turn it into a tool to relieve anxiety by visualising pushing out all your worry and tension as you breath out.

Mark

melinderry

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Re: side effect to breath awareness meditation
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 09:18:24 AM »
thank you for both those responses. The breathing technique described by Mark is very good and relaxing and I like it. However it doesnt seem to change the fact that sometimes my mind stays with the breath after and then alters the normal breathing pattern and I cant stop being aware of my breath...

Maybe I just have to hope that eventually goes away?

With Kind REgards to all!!


Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: side effect to breath awareness meditation
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2008, 02:30:39 PM »
melindery

You can't skip awareness of the breath unfortunately. Anxiety problems are associated with breathing from the chest and not the abdomen as pointed out already. The breath is the best object of meditation. But what do we mean by focus on the breath? Awareness can be placed on many aspects, many places and this can be awareness of breath. I think one of the best for people suffering anxiety related issues can be the actual rising and falling of the belly. Just notice the belly rising and falling as you breath, not trying to control too much. Slowly this will encourage and reinforce the correct abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing patterns and strengthen the core muscles. It will also reduce your overall levels of anxiety. You could try some Pilates exercises too.

In the Dhamma

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

boe

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Re: side effect to breath awareness meditation
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2010, 10:20:43 AM »
thank you for both those responses. The breathing technique described by Mark is very good and relaxing and I like it. However it doesnt seem to change the fact that sometimes my mind stays with the breath after and then alters the normal breathing pattern and I cant stop being aware of my breath...

Maybe I just have to hope that eventually goes away?
Funny I had the same problem, although I usually underbreath instead of overbreath.
I'm still not completely certain whether I've already fixed this problem,
but I think it's getting fixed now.

Instead of watching just the breath I now try to watch the effect the breath has on the body,
as well as watch the feeling in the whole body overall.
I am still aware of the breath a lot but because I am also watching other things than the breath,
I don't take control of it. Watching only the breath, you automatically take control over it I think.

 

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