Conscious breathing takes various forms. Dr. Weil believes each variety can be a useful tool for achieving a desired mental or physical state. As the Zen Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh puts it, "Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor."
Breath counting is perhaps the most basic form of conscious breathing. As the name suggests, is based on counting slow, rhythmic inhalations and exhalations. Its purpose is to pull the mind away from distractions and toward simple, centering presence.
Learn more about breathing exercise basics.