The purpose of the Sa~Ha meditation is to have a quiet and easeful experience of moving air in and out of your body. You can practice this anytime, anywhere, in any posture that maintains good breathing. While breathing in, think the sound of the syllable Sa; imagine you are saying it, but don’t say it aloud. Think one continuous Sa for the full length of the inhale. Then, for the length of the exhale, think the syllable Ha.
There are a number of benefits:
- This allows your lungs to draw the air into the body, which may be different from the way you normally breathe.
- It can affect your effort in breathing and increase your capacity for receiving breath by opening the internal spaces more fully.
- Practicing Sa~Ha as you inhale and exhale can feel deeply satisfying.
- “Being breathed” by your lungs, rather than by your will or intention, involves 360 degrees. The lungs and torso open and close top to bottom, side to side, and front to back. (See the drawings at the beginning of this chapter.)
- The lungs open from the deepest recesses of their small air sacs and expand outward, breathing from the inside out, rather than trying to pull the lungs open. • This may give you a sense of your lungs breathing you, as they are meant to do, rather than you breathing your lungs.
- With practice, you can learn to make this way of breathing, without constrictions, your default. Eventually, you won’t have to think Sa~Ha. You’ll develop the muscle memory to know how to shift to this way of breathing whenever you sense tension or stress arising and feel a need to soften your breathing and return to a quieter state.