Breathwork - Learn the Techniques and Experience the Benefits

Breathwork is quickly establishing itself in Western culture alongside yoga and meditation, and for good reason. With a long list of benefits, including stress reduction and improved physical health and stamina, breathwork is making its way into (and changing) people’s lives every day.

But what is breathwork and how do you practice it? Let’s dive into the details and learn how just five minutes of focused breathing daily can help you achieve your goals.

 

What Is Breathwork?

Breathwork is the intentional manipulation of a breathing pattern to help exercise and strengthen the lungs, increase oxygen flow, and calm the mind. While breathwork seems to be just getting its foothold in the Western world, the practice has been integral to millions of people’s lives for thousands of years.

After its inception in ancient India, breathwork and breathing techniques have come a long way and are now being tapped into by those searching for tranquillity, increased stamina, lowered blood pressure, or enhanced livelihoods.

 

What Are The Benefits of Breathwork?

What is Breathwork?Like meditation, breathwork is generally thought of as a way to help calm and focus the mind. By drawing attention to your breath, you force yourself to reflect inward and live in the present moment.

Initially, breathwork can feel like work as you learn to engage muscles you may not be used to.

Like all exercise programs, breathwork eventually becomes second nature. You may even catch yourself doing the exercises unintentionally during stressful or painful times.

However, breathwork isn’t only known for bringing a sense of stillness and creating a moment of inward reflection. The practice is praised for various physical and mental health benefits.

 

Physical Benefits

It’s no secret that stress plays a huge role in our physical health. Regular breathwork practice can help reduce stress, which may help alleviate some physical symptoms.

Breathwork has been shown to help lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of cortisol in the body, improve the immune system, improve sleep quality, strengthen respiratory function, and increase stamina.

Mental Benefits

Relieving stress is just the start of the mental benefits consistent breathwork practitioners can expect. Other benefits include improved mood, increased creativity, balanced emotions, reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, and sharpened focus.

 

 

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What Are Some Breathwork Techniques?

The best way to explore breathwork is with a trained and certified breathwork facilitator. However, some beginner breathwork techniques can be practiced safely.

Deep Breathing is inhaling through your nose, expanding your lungs and diaphragm before exhaling out of your mouth. During this exercise, be sure to focus on your abdomen expanding and contracting fully.

Timed Breathing is the same as deep breathing; only you will count and hold your breath. Inhale for 5 counts, hold your breath for another 5 counts, then exhale for 5 counts.

Lion’s Breath is a type of pranayama often practiced during a yoga class. This technique has you breathe in until your lung’s capacity, and then open your mouth and stick your tongue out as far as you can while you exhale forcefully. You will hear a noise that sounds similar to a lion’s roar.

 

Be A Breathwork Buddy

Breathwork is a powerful tool for self-improvement. With benefits that can be seen and felt in the physical body, mentally, and emotionally, it’s no surprise the number of breathwork practitioners is rising.

Everyone can benefit from practicing breathwork. In addition, professionals such as yoga teachers, fitness instructors, life coaches and therapists can up their skills and qualifications, increase their client base, and improve their lives by taking a breathwork facilitator training.

 

Breathwork and Healing

Many times, we may carry things inside of us that we’re unaware of. The body truly does “keep score” and we may feel stuck in our journeys.

Breathwork helps open the door to inner healing. It can help lay the foundation for a safe space and allow you to begin to look inward. Past trauma or negative experiences often manifest as physical symptoms like high blood pressure, weak immune system, and digestive issues.

While breathwork is invaluable for healing from traumatic or stressful events, working with a trauma-informed life coach can offer personalized guidance and support.

 

How Do You Incorporate Breathwork into Your Life?

Breathwork can really improve your life. And the best part? It doesn’t require much time. In fact, breathwork can be practiced in just a few minutes a few times a day. While a guided breathwork class will help provide the most benefits, starting small will still yield results.

Some people like to begin their morning with some breathwork techniques. Others will do some deep breathing in between calls at work. For some, calming down before bed with breathing exercises prepares them for a good night’s sleep.

 

What Do You Need to Practice Breathwork?

BreathworkOne of the best things about breathwork is you don’t need equipment or much preparation to experience life-changing benefits. Perhaps the most important thing you’ll need is loose clothing.

Wear clothes that allow for full expansion of your abdomen. Sometimes, we fail to realize how much our lungs can expand during each breath.

Wearing anything restricting can make you uncomfortable during the session and hinder your desired results.

Breathwork is usually practiced in a seated position but can also be done lying down. If you choose to sit, better use a sturdy chair. It’s also common to perform your sessions in lotus pose.

If you want to lie on the floor, a yoga mat will help provide the optimal position. You want to ensure that your abdomen is straight and you have good posture during your session.

 

Can Anyone Practice Breathwork?

Since breathwork is a low-impact exercise and requires no special equipment, almost everyone can practice it. Even if you suffer from COPD or asthma, breathwork may be beneficial. You may just need to add some adaptations to your session.

Like all new exercises, speak to your doctor before you begin, especially if you have a pre-existing condition or are pregnant. It’s also important to ease your way into the practice, paying close attention to how your body feels and reacts.

If you ever feel light-headed, stay seated and breathe normally until you feel better. Always exercise caution when standing up after a session.

 

Enhance Your Life With Breathwork

Breathwork offers a long list of benefits. You’ll start living healthier and less stressed in as little as five minutes of daily practice.

Breathwork can help whether you explore it with a certified breathwork facilitator or just want to add some breathing exercises to your nighttime routine.

Be a breathwork buddy and soon you’ll be on your way to a calmer, happier, healthier you!

 

 

About the Author

Niraj Naik is a certified pharmacist turned holistic health and breathwork expert, professional musician, serial entrepreneur, founder of Soma Breath, and one of the world’s most sought-after spiritual ceremony facilitators.

SomaBreath.com | NirajNaik.com | TheRenegadePharmacist.com

 

 

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