What is Breathwork?
Breathing is one of the basic exercises that everyone can do without learning. It can bring oxygen into your body so you can thrive. Breathwork refers to many types of breathing practices or techniques. Each of them has a different purpose and effect on your body. Many people find it helps to relax the body and feel energized.
Breathwork allows you to reconnect with your body and energy. For people who practice, breathwork can have immediate feedback. Therefore, breathwork can be a powerful tool to balance your body and improve your mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
Benefits of breath practice
You probably have heard about the benefits of deep breathing. It may help lower blood pressure and increase focus. Breathwork’s benefits are many. Research on breathwork is still rising every day!
Here are some of the potential health benefits of breathing:
- Aid positive thoughts and self-development
- Relieve stress and anxiety(super-quick)
- Process and heal lingering trauma and emotional pain
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce depression symptoms and PTSD
- Boost immune system
- Improve relationships
- Overcome addictions
- Increase self-esteem and confidence
- Manage chronic pain
- Sharpen focus
What you need to know before you start.
Breathwork can be enjoyable and generally safe for most people. If you are new to breathwork, depending on the type of techniques you use, you may experience tingling, ringing in your ears or dizziness caused by hyperventilation. Therefore, It is recommended to practice more challenging techniques with professionals.
PS. If you have any of these symptoms below, you would not be advised to do breathwork: cardiac arrhythmia, COPD, asthma or any other lung or heart concerns.
Examples of breathwork exercises
Breathwork requires focus, so you need to find a safe and quiet place to practice. You can either sit in or lay down in a comfortable position and relax.
These are three regular breathwork practices for beginners to calm your nervous system at home:
* Box Breathing:
Also known as square breathing. The technique is simple: breathe in deeply for 4 seconds (or slowly count to four), and hold your breath for 4 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds, and then hold your breath again for 4 seconds. Repeat this cycle for 5 minutes or more to feel the effects.
TIPS: You can visualize a square box and focus on that to practice.
* 4-7-8 Breathing:
This is another exercise by counting your inhales and exhales. Start by inhaling for a count of four, and hold your breath for seven counts, and then exhale for a count of eight. Repeat the cycle at least 4 times.
* Alternate Nostril Breathing:
Also known as Nadi Shodhana in Sanskrit, is a yogic breathwork technique that helps to calm your mind and nervous system. First, use your right thumb to close your right nostril and inhale through the left nostril, and then use your ring finger to close the left nostril. Open the right nostril and exhale and inhale through it. And then close the right nostril and open the left nostril to continue the same pattern for up to five minutes.
Final thoughts on breathwork.
Breathwork is a new trend. However, it’s not a new exercise. Breathwork has roots in yoga practice and people have been practicing for thousands of years. The benefits of the practice are promising. It can help you to release toxins and stress, clear your mind and increase your awareness to life. Remember, check with your doctor before you start.