Persevere with this new breathing technique for 15 minutes at a time. Your aim is to stop the exercise naturally after 15 minutes but at first you will be wildly inaccurate as to how long you have been practising. Four to five minutes seems like 15. In the early days you will need a watch or timer to check your timing. When you naturally and gently stop your relaxation breathing at around 15 minutes you will be well on the way to success.
After the pendulum breathing session is over, try to give yourself a few minutes to adjust before carrying on with any activity.
Concentrating on this unusual type of breathing allows you to learn to dismiss the everyday thoughts that can intrude on most relaxation programmes at the beginning. Almost always at first however, these thoughts will tend to intrude and it is necessary to turn away from them. Sometimes a mantra is helpful when this happens (see pages 9-10).
To begin, practise this breathing programme with your eyes closed. As it becomes more automatic the eyes can be opened and the process continued. Many people find that things around them look different, after 10 to 15 minutes of relaxation breathing. They unexpectedly appear new or unusual.
Some people, when they start these very important breathing exercises, notice that their internal body sounds rather intrusive. Noises of the heart beat, ‘swishing’ experiences in the head or a fluttering in the throat and chest are common too. They pass off as you get used to the new technique.
Exactly what happens during the relaxed pendulum breathing is very complex. The amount of oxygen that the body uses is considerably decreased compared with the normal resting state, and the body enters a changed state of functioning. A very simple physiological change takes place which makes you feel rested and revitalized.