Meditation for Beginners | The Counting Backwards Method

Counting Backwards Meditation

A Meditation for Beginners

This “Counting Backwards” method is an amazing meditation for beginners. It is a smooth and easy way to glide into a meditation practice. I picked up this simple technique from the book, Yoga The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness , by Erich Shiffmann.

When I use the counting backward technique I get completely plugged in to my meditation practice. It is a wonderful way to increase focus, assuage the nerves, and hush the mind

When it comes to meditating in the morning I like to set an alarm. It works for me when I don’t want the whole day to blow by because I have gotten so deep in my meditation, or so I don’t sit there thinking about time and cut it too short.

I tend to give myself at least 20 minutes of meditation, depending on the day. If my mind is feeling super cluttered I might meditate longer, focusing on my breath and plucking out any feckless thoughts popping in. You choose what time works for your lifestyle. 

To help you better understand how to use the “Counting Backwards” technique, I created this 10 minute practice video. I hope you find it handy!

Listed below is a simplified version of the instructions for the “Counting Backwards” technique. Read the instructions thoroughly beforehand to get a clear understanding of the practice. Then watch the video to practice. You can do this technique sitting comfortably on the floor or chair. You may also lie on your back. 

Counting Backwards Technique

Take a deep breath in.


We will silently count the breath down from 50 to 1; exhaling on the even numbers and inhaling on the odd numbers.

Take a nice breath into the belly.

Exhale 50
Inhale  49 
Exhale 48
Inhale  47 
Exhale 46

Continue breathing and counting in this way all the way to 20.

At 20 we count down consecutively on only the exhales.

Exhale 20 
Inhale, just the breath 
Exhale 19, 
Inhale, just the breath 
Exhale 18, 
Inhale, just the breath 

and so on and so on.

When you reach “one” the counting part ends. Continue to keep focused on the nature of the breath. You are aware of your natural breathing and simply observing it. Your body is still, but not with forced stillness. Just relaxed, without moving your body. 

Notice how this makes you feel, if you feel peace, clarity, connected.

We will talk more about this in the video! 

Thank you for watching!

Leave a comment! 

We want to know what you think! 

Namaste Beautiful Friends! 

Counting Backwards Meditation Pin 01
Counting Backwards Meditation Pin 02
Counting Backwards Meditation Pin 03

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26 thoughts on “Meditation for Beginners | The Counting Backwards Method

  1. Unpopular comment: I am NOT a meditator… like at all. My husband is and he swears by it. But I just cannot get into it no matter how much I try. For me, being active is my meditation. So things like running… 🙂

  2. Really interesting method. I never tried it before but sounds interesting. Well I am very new in meditation. Total beginner. That’s why this sounds like great thing to try. 🙂

  3. I like meditation. For me it helps me to focus on the greater things to process and do for the day. In this way I can have productive day ahead.

  4. Christina,
    I love meditation. Something I had to learn because as a Christian, I need to meditate on the Bible.
    But I suppose there are different types and levels of meditation.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. This seems like such an easy and useful way to focus on breathing and be calmed. I used to count to 100 when I couldn’t sleep as a child, and never considered counting backwards.

  6. I have been wanting to get more into meditation, as I am a total beginner. This is an easy way to control your breathing, it’s easy enough to concentrate on counting backwards whilst inhaling and exhaling.

  7. I was have anxiety kicks and I tried inhaling exhaling, I never meditated before but this breathing thinghelped me to calm down. I will start meditating to.

  8. This mid trick is just so effective. We need some fresh air and an ample time to meditate. It’s very relevant to human being.

  9. MEditation is best healing remedy..i just love to keeps me calm and relaxed…LOved these ideas..Thanks for sharing these ideas..some of them are much new for me ….

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