We often get feedback from users of our Metronome Beats app who have integrated it into their daily meditation routine. This article covers why you would use a metronome for meditation and how a metronome can help with breathing exercises, in particular Pranayama.
Meditation helps you to clear your mind, focus on specific thoughts and relax. A metronome can work as an external aid to help with this by focussing concentration and keeping the mind anchored in the present moment. A metronome can work in a similar way to mantra meditation which focuses on a single repetitive word or sound – you just concentrate on the tick of a metronome rather than a drumbeat or chant.
A metronome can also help you focus on, and lengthen your breath. This is why so many people use our Metronome Beats app for their Pranayama breathing exercises.
I won’t go into the detail of different Pranayama exercises here. However, many different techniques are based around freeing and lengthening your breath. How do we know if our breath is getting longer? Although we can count in our head to get an indication, it can be difficult to count consistently and it can be easy to think we have lengthened our breath when in reality we are just counting more quickly! A metronome overcomes this problem.
So how do we do this? To start with set the metronome to 60BPM which is the equivalent of one tick per second. Next for your chosen breathing technique, time your inhale and exhale.
For example, if you are practising Nadhi Shuddi:
Inhale through your left nostril and count how many ticks of the metronome the breath lasts for (e.g. 8).
Then exhale through the right nostril and count how many ticks (7).
Repeat this on the other side.
This will give you your starting pattern. For example 8-7-8-7.
Nadhi Shuddi is all about having an equal breath, so choose a length (e.g. 7 seconds) and aim to make all your breathes last this long. If you have your metronome set at 60BPM you will inhale for 7 ticks, then exhale for 7 ticks etc.
Metronome Beats also has a timer so once you are happy with the length of your breath you can set the metronome to run for 10 minutes to practice this.
Over time you can increase how long each breath lasts for. You should be aiming for longer than 15 seconds each breath or less than 4 breaths per minute.
I hope that you have found this helpful. If you have any questions on how to set up Metronome Beats you can contact us at [email protected].