Breathwork is a practice, a ritual, serving you to change your breath to bring an abundance of benefits to your life.
When you use breathwork daily, it works to help to improve your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Changing your pattern of breath intentionally has proven to not only relax but to energise you and of course, brings you back to the present moment.
Not only does it have many benefits, but it is also an easy ritual to implement into your day and can be called upon in times of high stress to ground you.
Have you done breathwork before?
What is breathwork?
Breathwork is a breathing exercise or practice to help change the breathing pattern. This is done intentionally and has been proven to bring mental, physical and spiritual benefits to the lives of those who practice.
Breathwork is a very effective tool to help balance the brain and generates a state of conscious breathing.
There are a few techniques of breathwork, and the one taught in my Free Rituals Guide is known as Pranayama. Pranayama is a yogic technique that allows you to harness energy in your body through a number of ways! We will dive into the different types of breathwork soon!
What are the benefits of breathwork?
Breathwork is generally practised for a number of reasons, but of course, is used to help with emotional states and to decrease stress!
Breathwork has been used to help with the following:
1. Help with self-development
2. Can boost your immunity
3. Assist with the process of emotions (it can even help to heal emotional pain)
4. Increase self-awareness
5. Enrich creativity
6. Improve your professional relationships (and personal ones)
7. Increase confidence
8. Release negative thoughts
9. Reduce stress and anxiety
10. Increase joy and happiness
11. Help with anxiety and depression
12. Help to manage anger issues
13. Works to assist with trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder
14. Assists with chronic pain
15. Helps with grief
Of course, everyone has a different experience with breathwork, and it is all about the intention you set when you do start using breathwork. What do you want to get out of it?
What are the different types of breathwork?
Do you think you don’t have time to add breathwork into your life? Well, it is one of the easiest to implement, you can even do the Wim Hof Method and have cold showers each morning. With the skill of deep breathing, it can help you to keep your body warm in the cold water!
As you may be aware, breathwork stems from ancient eastern practices and has been used to bring back consciousness as well as self-awareness and inner peace.
The most popular types of breathwork include:
Pranayama: breathwork common in yoga practice. Pranayama is about controlling your breath, which helps you to move past emotional and energetic blocks (Pranayama = life force, breathing, which connects you the 5 layers of kosha where pranayama represents energy).
Holotropic: a practice that uses intense music (this is also led by an instructor and is done in a group. The breath is altered in speed to help bring you to a state of consciousness.
Rebirthing: a practice that uses circular breathing and can be performed mostly underwater to create relaxation.
Of course, as mentioned, Pranayama is a common breathwork technique that can be easily implemented into your life!
How do you do Pranayama breathwork?
Breathing techniques like Pranayama can be performed by simply changing the pattern of your breath and being consciously aware of it. Like, take deep breaths after a stressful meeting or by grounding yourself after you feel you aren’t in control on your day.
Of course, there is a beautiful technique shared with you in my Ritual Guide to help you form a breathwork ritual that you can easily implement into your day!
These techniques are great to energise you in the morning!
What is the difference between breathwork and meditation, and are they used together?
Both breathwork and meditation can be used together, but they are different.
Meditation is about observing the breath, where breathwork is all about changing the breath in order to help you change the energy level in your body.
Meditation is all about paying attention to the breath.
My journey with breathwork
As you may have been aware, I was introduced to meditation when I was 5 years old. This is where I was also introduced to breathwork. Sitting on a cushion with my hand on my belly, I had to work to focus on my breathing.
Breath also worked to create my own warmth when I was young in the snow and would say “I’m cold”, my Dad would also tell me to “focus on my breathing to keep me warm”.
Power of my breath came into play when doing yoga in India 16 years ago. Yoga is all about the movement, the breathwork Pranayama.
But, of course, I didn't truly understand the power of breathwork until I was giving birth to my daughters. When they say "hold your breath" - no. Breathing helps with tension release. It has so much healing power.
Now I use breathwork daily.
I'll use it having my cold shower every day.
I do it when chanting or with my girls to show them the power of their deep breaths. I also use it throughout the day when I need some grounding.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is a Sanskrit mantra which means:
“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to tha