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Is there a wrong way to breathe during meditation?

by Andy Puddicombe

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For some reason this 60-year-old body of mine exhales through the nose – that is my natural way. Am I supposed to start exhaling through the mouth? I’ve tried that but it really takes my concentration away from meditating.

Andy’s answer:

Thanks for writing in, and that 60-year-old body of yours knows exactly what it’s doing! In fact throughout all of the Headspace exercises, the encouragement is to allow the body to breathe quite naturally, exactly as it wants to. The only exception to that rule is at the beginning of each exercise, where I ask you to take a couple of deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. This helps ground the mind and is just for that initial part of the exercise. After that, you can continue in the usual way.

Warm wishes,

Andy Puddicombe

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. In his early twenties, midway through a university degree in Sports Science, Andy made the unexpected decision to travel to the Himalayas to study meditation instead. It was the beginning of a ten-year journey which took him around the world, culminating with ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. His transition back to lay life in 2004 was no less extraordinary. Training briefly at Moscow State Circus, he returned to London where he completed a degree in Circus Arts with the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, whilst drawing up the early plans for what was later to become Headspace.