Breathwork is a broad term that refers to any therapy that employs breathing exercises to improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
The practice is derived from certain Eastern practices, including Tai Chi, yoga, and Buddhism. However, most of today’s breathwork therapy originated during the 1960s and 1970s consciousness-raising era. Given such a rich history, it is a little shocking how many people are still unaware of the wonderful phenomenon even in 2022.
Breathwork promises relaxation, improvement in mood, a refreshing mental shift, and a lot more. Researchers have discovered that how we breathe impacts how we feel. Consider this: When you are worried, you take faster and shorter breaths. When the frightening or tense situation ends, you breathe a deep sigh of relief.
Dan Brulé, the author of the Amazon best-selling book “Just Breathe” (40 years of Breathwork expertise), says “You can manage your psychological and emotional state by lengthening your inhale or exhale,” When you inhale, the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the response of “fight or flight” is activated. On every exhale, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, which controls our “rest and digest” response.
Breathwork Steps to Change Mood in Minutes
Breathing exercises can be performed anywhere, anytime to improve the mood instantly. Follow these steps to harness the power of breathwork.
Get Hold of Oneself
Erin Telford, a New York-based breathwork instructor, says that, “Whenever you double the duration of your exhale, it transmits a message to your body. that you are relaxed.” Telford suggests inhaling for two counts with the nose, then exhaling for four counts through your mouth. Continue repeating this until you feel “less charged and loosened up”. Then lengthen each breath until you can inhale for three counts and exhale for six. Switch to a four-count inhale, and an eight-count exhale when you’re ready.
Get More Energy
It’s best to focus on your inhalation for feeling more spirited. You will know how much air you regularly breathe in by observing your breath and breathing correctly. Dan Brulé, a renowned breathwork trainer, suggests quadrupling the capacity to inhale twice.
Confused? Here is what you need to do to replenish energy.
Breathe through your mouth for this workout. First, inhale deeply, then inhale deeply again without pausing (the double-inhale should be one smooth action). Then take a deep breath and exhale.
Meditate to Release Anger
Brulé suggests that, “Rather than yelling or shouting, let your anger out via your breath”.
This can be done either through the nose (yogis refer to this as a “breath of fire”) or mouth. First, inhale and exhale quickly for 20–30 breaths. Then, take a deep breath in, and then gently exhale. Your jaw, shoulders, neck, and other tense areas will naturally relax as you exhale like this.
5 Breathing Techniques to Try
Breathing fuels our entire body by supplying oxygen to the cells. People have employed breathing techniques for thousands of years. The goal is to maximise the force of inhaling and exhaling.
The following five breathing exercises will help you feel more connected, peaceful, and confident, and boost your mood.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Many yogis believe this method can help integrate the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Alternate nostril breathing is a kind of yoga breathing that aids in the reduction of anxiety and helps improve meditation. Inhaling through one nostril while restricting airflow to the other, holding the inhale for many seconds, and exhaling through the alternate nostril sums up the rituals of this technique.
Connected breathing is a method in which the breather connects the inhale and exhales without pausing. It’s a safe and robust technique to replenish the body’s oxygen and energy, thereby allowing our depleted systems to function at their full potential. In short, it enables us to live blissfully and access more significant levels of consciousness.
Deep Long Breathing
This technique, commonly used in Kundalini yoga, can be done either seated or lying down. It involves inhaling via your nose to fill up your lungs and stomach. The idea is to concentrate on maintaining or inflating your stomach as much as possible. Keep it like that for as long as feasible, then slowly exhale and return it to its original position. The approach improves feelings of confidence, peace, and quiet by increasing circulation, balancing PH, and stimulating endorphins.
Conscious breathing triggers a relaxation response in the body. It lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health thereby reducing the risk of stroke. It also helps with digestion and immunity, which are harmed by stress.
For conscious breathing, you need to inhale slowly and deeply through your nose so that your abdomen swells and fills. Keep one hand on the chest and the other on the abdomen. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Then exhale slowly through pursed lips keeping the hands intact on the chest and abdomen. You will feel your abdominal muscles fully engaged. Practice conscious breathing for a few minutes.
The technique can assist in achieving a condition of serenity and presence, thereby permitting more engagement in social life. Women can bid farewell to unnecessary medical care and have a safe, healthy birth by practising conscious breathing and relaxation, especially when combined with various comfort strategies.
Holotropic breathing helps relieve and realign trauma. It harnesses the innate power of individuals to recognize their capacity for deep inner healing. The concept is somewhat similar to the humanistic concept of self-actualization. It is expected that an enthusiastic contribution to breathwork can provide access to a heightened state of awareness, permitting a spontaneous reaction to “the wisdom of whatever occurs,”
For holotropic breathing, you will need to search online for workshops being held in your area, as this method requires supervision of a trained facilitator.
Breathing keeps us alive; it is that important. At some level, we require breathwork therapies to deal with crucial physical hurdles or issues. Breathing a little more spontaneously and naturally can promote healing, health, and spiritual growth. Read more here if you are intrigued! Our breathing coaches can help you with breathing assessment, practitioner training, and many training courses for breathwork practices.