Breathwork is a practice that uses breathing exercises or techniques to improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. During Breathwork, you intentionally change your breathing pattern to get more circulation of oxygen through the body.
The practice of Breathwork can be used for a variety of reasons. Overall, it is believed to bring improvements in an emotional state and decrease stress levels in otherwise healthy people.
Breathwork is used to improve a wide range of issues, including anger issues, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and trauma.
Breathwork is something I’ve heard of only briefly and never put much thought into it. Recently however, I had a friend show me a 15-minute technique of Breathwork that ended up being a crazy experience.
It was a Youtube video that consisted of three “workouts”: Power Breaths, Breath retention on exhale, and Breath retention on inhale. I was surprised to see such a fitness type approach to this considered meditation by doing repetitions, sets, and changing patterns. Very much like meditation, though, I was lying down comfortably and had my headphones on, completely disconnected from any distraction.
As we started to get into power breath– a technique where you breathe in and out in a slow rhythm through your chest and diaphragm–I felt relaxed and like I was stretching, as if my lungs were warming up. The most challenging exercise by far; the retention of holding your breath for 60 seconds straight to an inhale that you hold for 20 seconds. You do this three times, and I have to say by the end of the second set of exercises, it felt like my mind was in a totally different state.
Having so much air and then lack thereof in my lungs has my brain circulating differently. The constant control you have to have of your breath keeps you focused on remaining in the present.
This only took me 15 minutes as I was lying down, but I felt like a sort of runner’s high by the end of it. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but I definitely had higher emotional energy that I carried with me throughout the ensuing day.
I understand why people see this as a catalyst in curing their mental or physical ailments and can see myself integrating this short but effective practice in my daily routine.
I recommend Breathwork for anyone trying to improve their mental, spiritual, and physical health. The way I see it, you are breathing all the time anyway; might-as-well help your health while you’re at it.