Imagine you believe in reincarnation.
Imagine you return in your next life as a very relaxed Buddha.
How do you think you, as that Buddha, would breathe? Imagine now that you are that Buddha.
See yourself. You are sitting in a relaxed upright position. Your belly is soft & relaxed, like a toddlers, completely unself-conscious - perfectly at ease & at rest.
Your shoulders are relaxed & starting to soften down. Your hands rest with palms facing upwards on your lap or on your legs, wherever feels best for you right now.
Your face is soft & relaxed, with maybe the hint of a playful, even cheeky smile hovering around the lips. You are that jolly Buddha!
You turn your attention gently inwards, to your breath. Your Buddha breath.
You notice the sensation of the breath as you gently, slowly & deeply breathe in through your nose. You encourage the journey of that inhale to reach all the way down to the belly. When you have breathed in to a comfortable limit, you pause.
You then begin to gently exhale, detachedly noticing the journey of the breath as it leaves your body, starting from the belly, working its way up along your torso & finally leaving your body again gently though your nose. You begin again.
See if you can stay with this slow, gentle wave of breath, not trying to achieve anything other than relaxed, deep breathing - done in your time.
If your mind starts to wander, that's ok. You can try saying the words 'I know I am breathing in' with each inhale & 'I know I am breathing out' with each exhale.
Stay with the practice if you can for 5 minutes (or more if time permits).
Remain aware of the process; stay with the breath; try & watch as if from outside yourself.
See if you sense any release of tension - whether physical, mental, emotional or all three.
When you finish your deep belly breathing, return to easy, natural breathing for another few moments.
Use these quiet last few moments to check in on your Buddha self & see how you feel after this short but nourishing breathing practice.
Remember you can return to this practice any time, anywhere.
The breath is always with you.