Close your eyes. Take a long, deep breath. As you breathe, visualize your breath filling up your belly and chest as you inhale. When you are ready, exhale and let your chest relax, and your navel pulls back toward your spine. Now open your eyes. Congratulations, you just did your first rep of breathwork.
You have probably heard about this new trend, but breathwork has been a practice for thousands of years, and it has roots in yoga. The basic idea of breathwork is to release toxins and stress when you breathe out and nourish your mind and body when you breathe in. As more research on breathwork looks promising, its current benefits include: alkalizing your blood PH, an anti-inflammatory effect, and elevating your mood.
Breathwork may also have a positive impact on your central nervous system. When you feel stressed, your breath tends to become fast and shallow. This limits the oxygen entering your bloodstream. Your brain tells your body that there is a threat, and your body responds in fight or flight.
When you take time to slow down and purposefully breathe deeply and slowly, you tell your brain that everything is OK. Your brain communicates to your body that it’s safe to relax. The fight or flight response decreases, and your body can begin to function normally again.
The emotional benefits of breathwork range from fewer feelings of depression and anxiety to a better mental focus. It is an active form of meditation that allows you to disconnect from the mind and be guided by your body and heart. As you breathe out you let go of thoughts, beliefs, memories, and actions that do not support your growth and return to your wholeness.
This can lead to feeling more equipped for the world around you. Breathwork promotes deep relaxation and/or leaves you feeling energized. The best thing about the construction of your breathwork experience is that it is unique to you and places your breath as your guide.