Updated: Dec 22, 2022
Breathing is deceptively simple, and the idea of just "breathing deeply" can sound like a funny thing. After all, nothing to it, right? Breathing deeply might not look like much, and it's something you do automatically every moment you're alive, but as you might've guessed from the title: breathing has an enormous impact on your well-being. Today I'm going to explain what breathwork is, its benefits, and how you can do it yourself.
What is Breathwork?
Breathwork is a technique that helps you relax and focus. It can help you to get in touch with your body, emotions, and thoughts.
It is an ancient technique that involves breathing deeply from your diaphragm. This method has been around for thousands of years and is still used today by many people worldwide because it can help them feel more relaxed, focused, or connected to their bodies (or all three!).
During this process, participants lie on their backs or sit upright in a chair while breathing deeply through their nose for 20 minutes at a time without speaking or moving any part of their bodies except for their chest as they breathe in and out slowly through their nose while also focusing on an image in fronts of them such as nature scenes like mountains or waterfalls; however, most people prefer something more abstract like colors swirling around inside one another.
What are the benefits of breathwork?
Breathwork is a powerful way to open your heart, release old patterns, and restore energy. It can be done alone or with a group of others. You'll learn to breathe in a way that helps you move energy through your body, calm the mind, quiet the emotions and release old patterns.
Benefits of breathwork include:
When we feel stressed, anxious, or angry, our chest tightens up, and we hold our breath to suppress these feelings – which leads us into a cycle where more stress gets created because we aren't allowing ourselves to breathe properly! By practicing relaxing breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, we can begin to break this cycle by helping ourselves relax.
Improved energy levels
Deep breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates bodily functions such as digestion and blood pressure. This promotes better overall health and more energy throughout the day.
Increased mental clarity
Breathwork can help reduce stress-inducing thoughts by focusing on your breathing instead of those thoughts that may be causing stress or anxiety in your life. This allows you to make better decisions about handling stressful situations in your life so they don't negatively affect your mental health or wellbeing.
Better sleep quality
Breathwork can help you fall asleep faster at night and sleep more soundly through the night than when you don't do it or lie down on your bed without doing anything else beforehand. Some studies have shown that breathing exercises can even help treat insomnia if practiced regularly in addition to other therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Faster recovery from illness
Breathwork can help you recover from illness faster than traditional medicine because it allows you to relax, release stress and trauma, open up your heart and connect with your inner guidance system.
Increased creativity and intuition
Breathwork helps you tap into your creative side by opening up the mind and allowing you to think outside the box. It also enables you to tune into your intuition to make better decisions about how to move forward in life.
Improved immune system function
Breathwork can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can impact your immune system function by reducing the number of white blood cells that fight infection.
How do I do breathwork?
There are many different ways to do breathwork. I've included some of my favorite practices below.
The Breath Awareness Practice
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths through your nose, letting them out through your mouth. Once you feel relaxed, breathe naturally, without forcing or controlling your breath.
Now notice how it feels to breathe through your nose and mouth. Notice how far down your body the air moves as it flows in and out of your nostrils or mouth. Try holding your breath briefly after inhaling (or exhaling), then release it slowly as you return to normal breathing.
Do this several times until it feels natural and easy for you. Now try holding your breath longer each time before re-releasing it while keeping track of how long you can hold it this time before breathing again naturally — do this several times until it feels comfortable for you.
Here is a guided breathing video by Wim Hof on YouTube you might enjoy.
Maybe you prefer to get your headphones on and close your eyes, so here is a guided breathwork on spotify.
The 4-7-8 Breath
The 4-7-8 breath is a simple breathing practice that can be done anywhere. It can be done by sitting or lying down in a quiet place.
The 4-7-8 breath is done by counting to four while inhaling through your nose and then holding your breath for seven seconds. Then you exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. This makes up one cycle of the 4-7-8 breath. You should repeat this cycle three times per session, which means you should do a total of six cycles every time you practice it.
To get started with the 4-7-8 breath, take a deep breath through your nose and exhale out through your mouth until all the air is gone from your lungs. Then close off both nostrils with your thumb and pointer finger on each hand, but leave them open enough so you can still breathe through them.
Now begin counting to four while inhaling through the nose and closing off both nostrils with your fingers. After reaching four, hold your breath for another seven seconds before removing your fingers from your nostrils and exhaling through them again until all the air is gone from your lungs once more. This completes one cycle of 4-7-8 breathing.
I hope you've learned a lot about breathwork and are excited to try it out. This technique has been used by people worldwide for thousands of years, but it's still relatively unknown in today's society. One of the best things about breathwork is how easy it is to do–all you need is some time and space, which most people have access to! No fancy equipment is required!'
Love and Gratitude, Banika x
The Zen Curator
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