The Benefits of Breathwork
The Latest Fad or A Reawakening?
It is no secret that I became increasingly obsessed with breathwork over the course of the last two years. I had succumb to anxiety as I began to work on the frontlines of Covid, old patterns, behaviors began to resurface and I was finding myself defeated by the constant looping from habits I just couldn't break. Talk therapy, yoga and self help books could only take me so far. While I already had a slew of healing modalities accessible to me, there was a barrier, a layer of resistance that I could not penetrate. Like the most well treated leather, nothing was getting to the heart of my suffering. Enter breathwork.
Breathwork is a powerful tool for tapping into the innate wisdom and full potential of your own body. It is by no means a new phenomenon, and has been used for thousands of years as a deeply impactful and powerful healing modality that is so easily accessible. By using conscious, deep, rhythmic breathing, it bridges ancient wisdom with modern science to unlock your power.
Breathwork comes in many forms, names, styles and variations but what they all have in common is the ability to shift our consciousness and nervous system from one of stress, anxiety, and fight-or-flight to the parasympathetic nervous system of rest-and-digest. My good friend and mentor always says, "When we notice our breath, we notice our life." And so to live life to its fullest, we should breathe to our fullest. Breathwork is an exercise in remembering, reawakening and living. When we strengthen our ability to breathe we unlock the healing potential that lies within. While this is not an exhaustive list of the benefits, here are some of my favorites.
1. It penetrates your nervous system to reduce anxiety and depression. With the pace of today's Western world, I can't think of one person who hasn't experienced anxiety, depression or some chaotic spectrum of emotion in an instant. When we are in that low vibrational, anxious state we tend to breathe shallower and faster. This feedback loop keeps us spiraling in anxiety and fatigue. To combat this, taking deep, whole belly breaths can activate the parasympathetic nervous system to initiate physiological responses (slows your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, increases happy hormones) to slow down, find calm, get grounded and rejuvenate.
2. It increases the experience of presence and joy. Breathwork is...work. By focusing your attention on the breath patterns and your intention to do the work we inadvertently raise our self awareness to a state that is deeply in tune with our body. We tap into sensation, recognize emotionality and find a sense of calm that can instill a semblance of joy in our bodies. We are no longer focusing on the stress of the future, nor the regrets of the past. We are here to experience and to just be.
3. Brainwave biohacking. We are well aware that the breath positively effects the nervous system but did you know that it can actually shift your brainwave activity? Breathwork can help us move from Beta waves (the place where all our thinking, processing and stress happens) to Alpha (where we access relaxation and awareness) and Theta waves (deep intuitive states) to decrease negative thought patterns, stress and depression.
4. Better sleep and more energy. By increasing the oxygen supply to our brains we are better able to improve our energy levels. On the flipside, breathwork relaxes the nervous system allowing us to fall into deeper relaxation and better sleep.
5. Reduces toxins in the body. When we exhale we are able to release up to 3500 different chemical compounds from our body. Deep breathing not only releases toxins through our exhales, it massages the lymphatic system and improves our circulatory system to better expel toxins from various different parts of our body.
6. Releases trauma stuck in the body. When are bodies are met with stress, especially traumatic, our flight-fight or fawn responses get activated. Whether the stressor is life-threatening or not our bodies perceive it to be a matter of survival. In this day and age we don't often run into the issue of being chased down the block by a saber-toothed tiger yet our bodies register it as true threats. If the emotions, stress and limiting beliefs are unable to complete its cycle, they get stuck in our bodies. Breathwork allows us the opportunity to dismantle the judgement and tap into safety, in order to meet these entities head on, untether, unravel and eventually expel them from the body.
7. Pain reduction. Breathwork creates coherence between our mind and body. We can release endorphins which reduce our sensitivity to pain and the hormones that increase the feeling of pain. In some instances as it relates to chronic pain, it is easier to distance ourselves from our body to better process pain. Breathwork reconnects us to our bodies and allows us to meet pain at its core and use it as a lesson rather than a hindrance.
8. Sexual enlightenment. Breathwork is an embodiment exercise, meaning you are able to become in-tune with your body's needs and wants at a subconscious and otherworldly level. You are better able to pay attention to the sensations in your body and will learn how to fulfill your needs either by yourself or with others. The energies you channel during breathwork can flow throughout your body and intensify your sensations and orgasms.
9. Experience more self-love. When you're better able to reach alternate levels of consciousness there is stillness that can be reached in the mind; away from worry, self-deprecation and closer to a semblance of self-compassion and love. The more we access this state, the more softness we can carry into our human experiences. Self-love becomes more accessible and vibrating at the frequency of love becomes inevitable.
Ready to try it for yourself? Book a Complimentary Curiosity Call to see what it's all about.