Referred to as Breath meditation or Following the Breath, Focused Awareness is often used as a baseline meditation practice for mindfulness.
Close attention to the breath can bring us to the present moment, whenever we choose. Because the breath is so sensitive to stress and emotional reactivity, a focus on our breath has the potential to reveal a great deal about us.
For example, when we experience fear or panic, we often hold our breath. Feeling anxious will often constrict our breathing. How we relate to our breath becomes an embodied metaphor for how we relate to our living.
In breath-awareness meditation, posture is important. A relaxed, upright, erect posture allows the breath to flow freely while reflecting a quality of awareness that supports the practice. This lends itself to a clear, relaxed awareness – in contrast to postures like slouching or rigidity which tend to reinforce inattention, sleepiness or agitation.