Posted by: lornasass | November 30, 2011


I have discovered a beautiful way to start the day:  by breathing!

This bird picked a smart place to perch. Photo by Lorna Sass

I know this sounds funny–everybody breathes all of the time–but when I look back to the days before I started doing this particular breathing exercise, I realize that I started my day in fast forward, holding my breath.  I’d rush over to the computer and look at my e-mail, postponing my morning meditation and, by the time I settled down to meditate, I was already wound up and distracted.  After my meditation, I’d almost immediately resume a fast-forward pace.  This wasn’t working for me…

For the last few weeks, I’ve been doing things differently.  As soon as I notice a hint of awakeness in the morning, I settle myself on my back and place one hand on my heart and the other on my abdomen (this is extremely comforting in itself). I slowly take in a deep breathe through my nostrils to the count of 4.   I hold my breathe for the same 4 counts and then exhale to 8 counts through my mouth.  During all of this, I hold the tip of my tongue on the ridge in the top of my mouth where the hard palate meets the soft palate.  When I exhale, I press the air out from my abdomen and make a “shushing” sound.

My intention is to do this exercise for 10 minutes, but I usually end up doing 25 to 30.  It is a very delicious, calming, and expansive way to start the day, and I find that I  carry a more gentle rhythm as I move from one thing to the next.

My inspiration for staying in bed when I wake up came from Patricia Ellsberg, who mentioned in an wonderful on-line course I’ve been taking called Awakening Joy, that she starts her day by meditating in bed–sometimes for a full hour.  This idea seemed shocking at first, and then irresistible.  Thanks Patricia!


  1. Meditation is a great way to start the morning. I try to immediately wake up, shower, and then meditate before I do anything else. For me, it is the easiest way to have a clear and calm mind already going into meditation. It can lead to some wonderful experiences!

    Great post! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your comment and affirmation, and for subscribing to my blog. Much appreciated.

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