How Breathwork Can Change Your Life
There are days when we do not want to work out, want to meet people, or even want to practice our favourite hobbies. The sun seems to set too quickly and after the haze breaks at night, right before bed time, we realize we have lost a beautiful day.
What you can do on days like these is to take control, if not of your life, then at least of your breathing (and your life might just get under control that way).
Importance of Breath
Breath is the impulse of life to our bodies of meat and bones. Are we always taking for granted something which is so crucial to our existence? I encourage you to take a deep breath before reading further.
Breathing is a part of our automatic nervous system which performs its function dutifully without our awareness, for the most part. However, it can be beneficial to bring this function of our body under conscious control through yoga practices of breathing known as Pranayama. These exercises will help you in building your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Types of Breathwork
- Holotropic Breathwork
The goal here is to achieve “wholeness” of the mind, body and spirit. A Certified Practitioner usually facilitates sessions which can be used as a catalyst to a non-ordinary state of consciousness (NOSC). The instructions are simply to breathe deeper and faster, keeping the eyes closed. The practitioner makes sure that the breather is physically safe and supported during the session. Sessions end with sharing a positive conversation and helping the breather integrate what they learned about themselves.
- Breathing Exercise for Stress
You can practice this quickly. Make yourself as comfortable as you can. Loosen up restrictive clothing. Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable. Try breathing in from the nose and you can let your breath go out of your mouth. Some people find it helpful to count from 1 to 5 during both phases. Donot pause your breath; let the whole process be gentle. You can do this for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Rebirthing Breathwork
It is also known as Conscious Connected Intuitive Breathing and has been invented by Leonard Orr. Its goal is to help people release all the energy blockages they have been holding on to in their body and mind due to suppressed trauma. In the course of this therapy, participants are asked to lie down, relax and learn to breathe prana (energy) as well as air.
- Simple breathwork meditation
Breath is the most effective anchor for bringing yourself back to the present moment. Bring your attention to your breath. You can close your eyes. Make conscious effort to breathe in to your belly and use your diaphragm if you are used to shallow chest breathing.
Feel how your body responds, emotionally.
It doesn’t really matter whether you take part in a yoga session or the practice of a specific breathing technique. The structure is just a means and not the end.
Regular practice of breathwork can be a key to deeper the levels of relaxation, higher levels of energy, effective stress management, and even releasing one’s trauma or experiencing a different state of consciousness.
Breath is life. What would you equate consistent deep, fulfilling breathing with? A deep, fulfilling life.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.
- Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy, ‘Twelve Things You Should Know About Breathwork’, official IAHIP website (accessed on 16th April, 2020)
- National Health Service, ‘Breathing exercise for stress’, official NHS website (accessed on 16th April, 2020)
- GoodTherapy, ‘Breathwork’, official website (accessed on 16th April, 2020)