Segment mode

Step by step instructions are at (1).

This mode is especially useful for falling asleep at night and for relieving chronic pains by deep relaxation of the tight muscles.

Start with any one hand, say the left hand. Note that every finger has two cross lines dividing it into three segments. Place the tip of the thumb at the top segment of the little finger and practice the ‘Counting mode’ explained down below. Move the thumb to the middle segment of the same finger and count three breaths. Move to the bottom segment and count three breaths. Release the little finger. Repeat these steps at the next three fingers: ring, middle and index fingers. At the thumb, place the tip of the index finger on its segments and repeat the steps. Then, switch to the right hand and repeat the same practice. Continue practicing switching hands.

Counting mode: Breathe easily and comfortably. During the in-breath, feel the coolness inside the nostrils. During the out-breath, say the number ‘one’ silently and slowly as ‘Ooone….’, like a chant, keeping its sound alive in the mind as long as you exhale. When you run out of air, stop the sound. During the next in-breath, feel the coolness in the nostrils again. During the out-breath, say the number ‘twooo…’ like a chant. During the next in-breath, feel the coolness inside the nostrils. During the out-breath, say ‘ ‘threeee… like a  chant. For the next out-breath, don’t say the next higher number. Instead, restart counting from ‘Ooone….’. Continue counting the breaths in sets of three.

Why repeat counting is suggested can be seen at (2).

Complementary technique (Optional)

Engaging the idle hand: When using the left hand for tracking the breaths, keep the tips of the index finger and thumb of the right hand, in light contact.  When using the right hand, keep the tips of the index finger and thumb of the left hand, in light contact.

(1) Step by step instructions
(2) Why repeat the number being counted?

Parent page: How can I focus on breathing?

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