Is there anything called breathwork. Surprising. Isn’t it?
We all know how to breath, don’t we?
The simple answer will surprise you. We don’t.
When we breath normally, we usually do it in a shallow way, it is called normal breathing.
But when we start to pay attention to our breathing and can learn to change its patterns. It is called breathwork.
It is a type of alternative way of medicine that is said to help with stress relief, relaxation, and overall well-being.
To do such special breathing, you simply need to focus on your breath and breathe deeply.
You can do this by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position and closing your eyes. Then, take a deep breath in through your nose and count to four, exhale slowly through your mouth, counting to eight.
Repeat this for 10-15 minutes.
Some of the benefits of breathwork include.
When you are going to exams and you feel stressed, full of anxiety about what questions will be in the exam, will you be able to make it or not, if you never have noticed, you may be breathing very shallow and fast.
That further increases the stress hormones, and you start feeling more frantic, fuzzed and unable to focus.
When you are undergoing such stressful situations, take a pause. Sit down and start breathing deeply.
Shallow breathing is a natural response to stress.
Also called fight-or-flight mode, your brain processes emotional turmoil (like feeling overwhelmed by a big test) and turns it into a physical experience of panic.
When you're anxious, controlled breathing lets you tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, which puts you into a relaxed state.
The beauty of breathwork is that it is not like any other gym, or yoga studio, where you first have to make a routine and discipline yourself to attend the sessions.
Interesting, breathwork can be done at any time anywhere.
Whether it is home, office, waiting in the car, siting in the hospital lobby, either with lots of people or all by yourself. You can always do anytime anywhere.
Ashley Neese, author of How to Breathe: 25 Simple Practices for Calm, Joy, and Resilience says, "Our bodies have this incredible, built-in, self-care tool that is always with us. All that is required for us is to access it, and practice with consistency."
Considering the fact that in modern times, our routines are getting crazy, from morning till evening.
We don’t even have time for our loved ones. And hardly any time for our own health workouts, walks and gyms. It all can make us feel stressed out and exhausted all the time.
But learning about the right breathing can help you develop mental clarity and control over your body, says Lisa McNeil, a massage therapist for professional athletes.
There are two ways.
Both have their own advantages. But if you adopt the second method, probably you may never feel stressed out in any situation again, because you instinctively would be knowing what to do at that time.
First you need to inhale deeply, hold it a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth.
You have to do a few rounds like these in a day. Then you are on a journey of learning.
More specifically, different experts have come up with different formulaic methods. The most common one is 4-7-8 breath.
Inhale through nose with a count of 4, hold it inside with count of 7, exhale slowly with a count of 8.
Do five such rounds in one session, take rest and then you may repeat it.
Please note that in this breathing flow. The exhale is the most important part.
Actually it is equivalent of exhaling all the trapped toxins from your body and oxygenating all the tissues and organs in the flow.
This process creates a sense of inner calmness, it also helps to strengthen your immune system. And you can think with more clarity.
Another interesting as well as important thing to note is that, it is much advised that when you do such breathwork in a dedicated routine, then you should also set an intention in your heart and mind.
‘I intend to be calm even under pressure.’
‘I intend to be kind with others, who I don’t like much’
When you start going deep, there are two ways:
The second method is much better and beneficial for the whole body and the immune system.
To make it convenient, place one of your hands on your stomach.
Inhale deeply, and feel your hand move up with your stomach and move down when you exhale. It may be through your nose or your mouth.
Repeat this for 2-3 full minutes.
In case if you have sleep problem or insomnia. You can also do a little of breathwork even in your bed.
When you go to bed, quiet your mind with a focused intention and attention.
‘I am going to rest and relax completely’.
Start breathing deeply through your nose slowly for a few seconds, and you will see the results.
Another important aspect of breathwork is the focus of attention.
When you inhale in s sitting position, imagine and visualize that you are drawing up energy from the earth into the soles of the feet upto knees and hips, and when you exhale, you are sending back the toxins to the earth through the same cycle and cleansing your body and strengthening your immune system.
Do one round with one minute each and you can keep repeating.
As you move forward and deep with your breathwork practice sessions, you can start with more advanced techniques.
This is also good to overcome nervousness, many other associated ailments, and further strengthening and boosting your immune system.
While seated, bring your right hand in front of your face. Bring your index and middle fingers to rest between your brows as an anchor.
The active fingers will be the thumb and ring finger.
Inhale deeply through your nose.
With your thumb, close your right nostril, inhale and exhale through the left nostril. Keeping the right nostril closed.
Open your right nostril while closing your left nostril with your ring finger, inhale and exhale through the right nostril while the left nostril remains closed with your ring finger.
These two full breaths count as one cycle. Repeat for five cycles.
Going further with your practice, you may also practice some rounds with alternate nostrils.
Inhaling from one nostril and exhaling from other nostril. And repeating the alternate cycles.
Breathwork is a new emerging trend in the west. It has come up with many health benefits which are natural.
And interestingly and importantly, it does not require any harsh physical exercises to achieve such benefits.
As per the breathwork experts. All cure is in our breathing.
You may also check out another article on Breathwork here.