Do I have to breathe through my nose or mouth? It depends on the meditation technique you are practicing. But usually in meditation techniques like transcendence meditation, mantra and present moment awareness we emphasize breathing through the nose. When practicing breathing meditations like pranayama we often use the nose as well.
When we breathe through the nose it tends to be indicative of us being in a more relaxed state. And then we tend to have a deep and longer breathing pattern. But if you are stressed, afraid or anxious in any way, your breath tend to be short and shallow and you often breath through your mouth.
If we seek reduced stress and a calmer mind and body, we use meditation techniques where we breathe through the nose. This gives our mind and body a more relaxed state. But breathing this way can also help us achieve a more relaxed state even during more energetic breathing techniques like pranayama where we seek more energy.
What is common is that our nose is sometimes blocked, you can be sick, have a flu, allergy or something. It could be that one of the nostrils, or even both of them is blocked. Then it’s perfectly fine to breathe through the mouth during meditation.
When we practice energized body and mind meditations you can use meditation techniques like Alternate Nostril Pranayama for 2 to 5 minutes or Bhastrika Pranayama for 30 seconds to two minutes. If you use any other meditation techniques like present moment awareness or transcendence meditation it’s recommended that you meditate twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon for about 20 minutes. If you want, you can combine energizing body and mind meditations with other techniques. But, don’t stop meditating if your nose is blocked. Be gentle with yourself and breath through your mouth.