Breathwork is a practice that has been around for centuries, and it is becoming an increasingly popular wellness trend. It is a simple but powerful way to improve your health and well-being. If you’re looking to improve your overall wellness, you may consider adding breathwork to your routine.
Together, we will discuss the benefits of breathwork, techniques of breathwork, and tips to keep in mind when practicing breathwork.
What is Breathwork?
Breathwork can be defined as any breathing exercise or technique. These exercises and techniques improve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
When you are physically or emotionally stressed, it impacts how you breathe. The basic idea behind breathwork is to nourish your body and mind when you breathe in and release stress and toxins when you breathe out. Breathwork has its roots in yoga practice, and it helps calm anxiety and brings balance to the body.
How Does It Work?
When you breathe deeply and slowly, it has a calming effect on the nervous system. This allows your body to relax and heal. Deep breathing also increases oxygen flow to the brain, which helps to improve mental clarity and focus. Breathwork can help to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress while promoting relaxation, creativity, focus, and concentration.
Benefits of Breathwork
In addition to reducing stress levels, breathwork improves a range of issues, including chronic pain, grief, depression, anger issues, trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
People have also practiced breathwork to boost immunity, develop life skills, and enrich creativity. Breathwork can help people develop or increase self-awareness, increase confidence, and improve personal and professional relationships. (Cronkleton, 2019)
Techniques of Breathwork
There are many different breathwork techniques, but the most important thing is to find one that feels comfortable for you. If you’re new to breathwork, starting with a simple breathing exercise may be helpful. Once you get more comfortable with breathwork, you can explore different techniques and find the ones that work best for you.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
In this technique, start by applying pressure on your right nostril using your right thumb. Breathe in using only your left nostril and hold your breath as you switch sides. Release your right thumb, and then use your index finger to apply pressure on your left nostril as you exhale through your right nostril. Then pause, take a deep breath in and alternate again. This technique helps encourage balance in the body and the mind. (WebMD)
Deep Abdominal Breathing
This technique uses a long, deep breath and helps your body relax. When you inhale, visualize your breath filling up your body. Your chest and belly should both expand when you inhale. When you exhale, relax your chest, and pull your navel back towards your spine.
The 4-7-8 Breath
This technique helps to slow down and calm the body. It’s an ideal technique if you feel anxious, overwhelmed, angry, or have trouble sleeping. The traditional way to practice this technique is to breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, exhale out of the mouth for 8 seconds and repeat this at least four times. (Dittmar, 2021)
Tips to Keep In Mind When Practicing Breathwork
- Start slowly and breathwork your way up to deeper, longer breaths.
- Listen to your body and breathe comfortably.
- Practice breathwork for short periods at first, and gradually increase the length of time as you feel more comfortable.
Breathwork has many benefits, but there are also some potential risks. Breathwork is not recommended for those who have breathing issues, cardiovascular issues, vision issues, or if you have a medical condition or take medications, including if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any new wellness practice, especially if you have any health concerns. Breathwork is generally safe for healthy people, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Breathwork is a simple but powerful wellness tool that can profoundly benefit your mind, body, and spirit. If you’re looking to improve your overall wellness, breathwork is a great start.
Remember to start slowly, listen to your body, and find a technique that feels comfortable for you. With a bit of practice, breathwork can help you achieve a state of deep relaxation and well-being.
Cronkleton, Emily. “What Is Breathwork?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 29 Apr. 2019,
WebMD. “What Is Breathwork?” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/balance/what-is-breathwork.
Dittmar, Gwen. “3 Beginner Breathwork Techniques & the Best Time of Day to Do Them.” Mindbodygreen, Mindbodygreen, 1 Feb. 2021, www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/breathwork-techniques-for-beginners.