article

Mindful Breathing: Concentration Breathing Exercises For College Students

Imagine you are a dolphin. Why, you may be thinking?

Because dolphins are beautiful creatures!

Dolphins represent joy, playfulness, and community. They are always happy and possess high levels of compassion. They are knowledgeable and telepathic.

Telepathy (to be telepathic) is the ability to communicate without words. Dolphins have a supersonic radar, which means they can communicate to their kin through the waves. Just as their speech travels through the ocean’s waves, so do our thoughts through the air. When we think we are actively affecting, creating, and shaping our physical world (fact!).

So if we are influential creators and our thoughts affect the world in which we live, how does this relate to breathing and meditation?

Thought and breath are intrinsically connected. When we breathe, we allow more air to fill up inside us. Air is also known as energy or chi. Chi is responsible for all aspects related to our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. You know martial arts are cool, yes? Martial artists can do some pretty incredible things! They work with chi, the universal and invisible life force.

So through consciously breathing and working on our breath, we allow ourselves to absorb more chi. This, in turn, makes us feel lighter and fuller with force, which further affects our minds.

We will look at ways to help with mindfulness and all the benefits but, for now, imagine you are a dolphin. Imagine what it is like to be completely free, happy, and playful swimming through the sea. Picture what it feels like to be able to communicate through the waves. Feel it. Become the dolphin.

Sync your breath to that of the dolphin’s, still picturing the dolphin clear in your mind and as if you are the dolphin. You should start to feel yourself fill up with more energy and feel much lighter. You could even feel floaty and euphoric or have sparked some incredible imaginative ideas!

This exercise can develop greater concentration in school, focus on your studies, or calm before an exam. It can also be used for creativity, to increase inspiration and ingenious ideas, and to help with friendships and relationships amongst peers and family.

Try it for yourself!

Animal Guide: ‘Melody the Water Whale!’
Exercise: Meditate for Magic

What is mindfulness?

As briefly shared in the intro, to ‘be mindful’ is to be conscious. Earth itself is one conscious living entity; all living things are connected through unseen and invisible forces. Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it is not real!

In the natural world, we best learn what being mindful is as our mind is linked to our feelings. When we feel our best, our most happy, joyous, at peace and generous, warm, and connected to our friends and family, our minds are in a healthy and happy state. Our thoughts are influenced by our feelings, just as our emotions are affected by our thoughts.

In essence, mindfulness is really about harmonizing the mind with the body and improving all aspects of life. There is great truth in ‘mind over matter. The mind creates and affects matter!

Read one for some fun and mind-boggling exercises.

Exercise For You To Try: Play with your Chi!

Play with your chi! 

Now, this one is enjoyable and can even be seen as magic. As shared earlier, chi is used and cultivated by martial artists and is the source of creativity and inspiration. It can be seen as a ‘superpower’ in itself as it is a genuine but unseen and invisible force.

To play with, and increase your chi, sit down in a meditative position.

This can be either at home by yourself in your room, in a beautiful nature spot somewhere, or at school with friends (and of course in a group activity in class!). Firstly, close your eyes and bring your hands up to your heart with your palms facing. Start breathing, become conscious of your breath, and allow it flow and be effortless. Once you feel relaxed and comfortable within, bring your attention to the palms of your hands.

As you are now relaxed and in a rhythmic flow with your breath, you can multi-task. Rub your hands together with some friction, but not too vigorously. Feel the energy and heat in the palm of your hands? Yes, good. Now gently move your hands slightly away from each other and focus on your breath. Actively breathe into your palms, feeling, and envisioning a ball of golden chi circling in between your palms. Watch it expand.

Click here to watch a video demonstration of this technique.

This exercise can last anywhere from five minutes to fifteen. Keep the focus on your breath and the ball of golden chi perpetually expanding between your hands. The more powerful it becomes, the further away you can pull your hands. It should reach the stage where your palms are naturally pushed away from each other, like a magnet.

This is the power of chi!

To combine mindfulness with this exercise, choose a keyword to focus on. The beautiful thing about this activity is that it can last for such a long time and you can play with many different qualities.

Here are some suggested qualities/words to increase and expand in your chi ball:

Imagination Beauty
           
Kindness Creativity

Compassion Success

Empathy Intelligence

Understanding Achievement

Awareness Patience


Whichever association you choose, visualize it in your ball of chi and use your intentions, the power of your Mind, to watch it grow. Stay focused and connected to this ball of glowing light and the characteristics you embody and, finally, slowly bring it up over your head. Pour it over your head, allowing it to fill you up entirely, and actively feel yourself becoming filled with this powerful, loving, and glowing chi ball.

Before and during this exercise, you should consider sipping on gem water. Ensuring you are hydrating will help you to concentrate and focus while completing the training.  

Since the Middle Ages, people have been utilizing crystals to improve their health and wellness. Water helps the get the vibrational energy from the gemstones. Nobel Prize winner Dr. Masaru Emoto proved that the water changes its structure when its near crystals. Different crystals impact the water, ranging from reducing anxiety, help with creativity, lifting depression, and more. Here is a valuable resource of the A-Z Healing Crystals Guide that will help you decide what crystal/s to use with water.