Counting your breaths

A common practice during meditational exercises is controlling your breathing. “Pranayama”, which means “breath control” in Sanskrit, are ancient Indian techniques that focus exactly on this.

Pranayama is typically translated as:

Pran: Life force

Yama: Control

However, some others believe it to be:

Pran: Energy

Ayama: Expand/Extend

Many Pranayama techniques focus on controlling your breathing, and many of them are effective at this.

However, one meditational technique I’ve taken a particular liking to focuses on the exact opposite – It doesn’t focus on controlling your breathing, but rather on allowing it to be exactly as it is in the moment.

The technique consists of counting the length of inhalations, the length of exhalations, and paying attention to the breaks in between.

I personally believe this to be an easier way to focus on breathing, as the mind will be occupied with observing and counting. More than often breathing extends just by being mindful of it, but that being said, it’s important to not deliberately attempt to change the pace of breathing, but just to let it continue naturally.

Particularly nowadays, in a time when everything has to be controlled or fixed, it can be liberating to allow some space to breathe.



Under meditationsøvelser arbejdes der ofte med at kontrollere åndedrættet. ”Pranayama”, som på sanskrit betyder ”åndedrætskontrol”, er ældgamle indiske teknikker der fokuserer netop på dette. Tid til at trække vejret

Pranayama oversættes ofte således:


Pran: Livskraft

Yama: kontrol

Andre mener dog at det oversættes som følgende:

Pran: Energi

Ayama: Udvide/forlænge


Mange Pranayama-teknikker handler om at kontrollere åndedrættet, og mange af dem er gode til det.

En bestemt meditationsteknik, som jeg selv er blevet rigtig glad for, handler dog om at gøre det modsatte – ikke at skulle kontrollere åndedrættet, men at tillade det at være lige som det er.

Teknikken består i at tælle længden af indåndingerne og længden af udåndingerne og lægge mærke til pauserne imellem.

Jeg synes selv at det er nemmere at holde fokus på åndedrættet med denne teknik, da sindet ofte bliver optaget af at observere og tælle åndedragene.

Åndedrættet bliver ofte helt naturligt forlænget, når man er opmærksom på det, men det er vigtigt ikke at forsøge at ændre på åndedrættet, men derimod blot lade det være som det er.

Særligt nu til dags, hvor der er så mange ting som skal være på bestemte måder eller som skal kontrolleres, er det en befrielse med et pusterum hvor fokusset ikke er at skulle kontrollere noget.


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