What should I do if focusing on the breath is difficult for me?
People with asthma or other breathing difficulties can find mindfulness meditation challenging because of the focus on the breath.
Our meditation creator, Tamara, received a question from an asthmatic user about how to handle breathing exercises, and you may find her answer helpful for your meditation practice:
"How do you breathe in daily life? Breathe just like that. Don't worry about taking deep breaths. This practice involves learning and honoring our limitations. Breathe gently and lovingly and do the best you can."
Sometimes our physical bodies put limits on us that can make something like meditation seem difficult or impossible. It's important to remember that the specific techniques - counting deep breaths, the upright sitting position, etc. - are just supports for the practice, like using a ruler to help you draw a straight line. They can be helpful, but they are not requirements. There are many ways to calm the mind and relax the body.
Give our Body Scan, Loving-Kindness, and Non-Judgment meditations a try. They can be found in the 'Beginners' category of the Meditate menu. While these both reference the breath, they focus primarily on areas of the mind and body which you may find easier or more interesting. There is no one right way to meditate. In the beginning, it's important to explore, experiment, and find a technique that works for you.