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THE POWER OF BREATH

Updated: Aug 21, 2023


Breathwork Practice

Through improved oxygen delivery to the body's cells, breathwork can also boost energy levels and enhance overall physical health...”

What is breathwork?


Breathwork is a powerful technique that involves conscious manipulation of your breath to enhance your physical and mental health. It's founded on the idea that how we breathe can influence our overall well-being, and science has shown that it can offer numerous benefits.


One of the primary benefits of breathwork is its ability to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's relaxation response. By deepening and slowing your breath, you can lower your heart rate, reduce stress, balance hormone levels, and lower blood pressure.


Studies have also shown that breathwork can be helpful in managing conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It can boost immune function, decrease inflammation, and even improve pain management.


Through improved oxygen delivery and utilisation to the body's cells, breathwork also boosts energy levels and enhances overall physical health.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced practitioner, breathwork offers a safe and natural approach to self-care. With its numerous scientifically supported benefits, it's an exciting avenue to explore for those seeking to optimise their wellbeing.



Popular Breathwork practices and benefits.


While there are many ways to practice breathwork, we have listed just a few of the more popular techniques, you may already know some of them and some may be completely new to you. What we have definitely learned is that there is always more to unlock, even with the simplest of breaths.


Breathwork Techniques:

  • Conscious breathing: This technique involves simply being aware of the breath and focusing on it without trying to change it. Conscious breathing can be used as a tool for relaxation and stress reduction, as well as for developing mindfulness and self-awareness.

  • Yogic breath: Also known as "Ujjayi" breath, this technique is a staple of many yoga practices and involves breathing through the nose while constricting the back of the throat to create a soft hissing sound. This technique is used to improve focus and concentration, and to promote a calming effect on the body and mind.

  • Deep belly breathing: This technique involves breathing deeply into the abdomen, rather than shallowly into the chest. It can be done with or without retention, which is holding the breath for a short period of time after inhaling. - Deep belly breathing is used to improve respiratory function, increase lung capacity and to promote a calming effect on the body and mind. When combined with retention, it can also help to improve focus, concentration and increase the capacity of the body to hold the breath. Some people may experience lightheadedness or dizziness when starting with this technique, especially with retention, so they should start with shorter retention time and gradually increase it as they become more comfortable.

  • Buteyko breathing: The Buteyko method is a technique that emphasises breathing through the nose and reducing the rate and depth of breathing to improve breathing efficiency. It is best used for conditions such as asthma, anxiety, and sleep apnea.

  • The Wim Hof Method: This technique involves deep breathing and cold exposure, designed to boost energy levels and reduce stress. It is used for improving overall physical and mental health and well-being, and to boost immunity.

  • Transformational Breath: This method uses specific breathing patterns and techniques to help individuals access deeper states of consciousness, release emotional blockages, and heal physical and psychological issues. It is used for resolving traumas, reducing stress, and increasing overall well-being. This type of technique is always best done with a professional.


These techniques are not exclusive to the practices mentioned above, and can be utilised in different religious practices, and modalities.


While most of these techniques have been studied and have levels of scientific evidence to support their effectiveness, it's important to remember that the effects of breathwork can be different to each individual and it's always best to consult with a professional before trying any new techniques, especially if suffering from already known ailments.



The Science Behind Deep Breathing and Oxygenating the Body.


Taking deep breaths and increasing the amount of oxygen in the body can have many positive effects on physical and mental health. The science behind this is rooted in the body's ability to regulate its own homeostasis.


One of the main benefits of deep breathing is that it increases oxygenation to the body's cells and tissues. Oxygen is used to produce energy through the process of cellular respiration. When oxygen levels in the body are low, cells and tissues do not function properly.


Deep breathing also has a direct impact on the nervous system.

The act of breathing deeply and slowly sends a signal to our brain to relax, and this can help to reduce feelings like anxiety. Additionally, deep breathing can activate the body's parasympathetic system which in a very small nutshell helps to reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.


Deep breathing also increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the body. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of cellular respiration, and it plays an important role in regulating blood pH. If levels of carbon dioxide are too low, the blood becomes too alkaline, and this can lead to a variety of health problems, most commonly respiratory issues. With balanced levels of carbon dioxide cells can convert glucose and oxygen into energy.


Furthermore, deep breathing promotes the removal of waste products, including carbon dioxide that is not utilised and other toxins from the body. This is done through the process of diffusion and perfusion, which is the exchange of gases between the lungs and the blood.


In summary, deep breathing helps to increase oxygen levels and balance carbon dioxide in the body, promote relaxation, and improve overall health and well-being. It's a simple yet powerful technique that can be practiced anytime and anywhere, and it doesn't require any special equipment or training.



Conscious Breathing Practice Tips.


Conscious breathing is a simple yet powerful technique that involves being aware of the breath and focusing on it without trying to change it. The goal is to bring your attention to the present moment and to release any tension or stress that you may be holding in your body.


Here's a step-by-step guide for a 5-minute conscious breathing session:

  1. Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes.

  2. Bring your attention to your breath and notice the sensation of the air entering and leaving your nose or mouth.

  3. Without trying to change your breath, simply observe it as it naturally flows in and out.

  4. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. You can focus on how the air feels as it enters and exits your nostrils or how your belly and chest rise and fall with every breath.

  5. Continue to focus on your breath for 5 minutes.

  6. When the time is up, take a deep breath in and exhale fully. Open your eyes slowly and focus your awareness on any changes within the body.

To implement conscious breathing into your everyday life, try setting aside a few minutes each day to practice the technique. You can do it in the morning to start your day, before your affirmations or workout, for a clear and focused mind, or at night, to help you relax and release any stress before going to sleep.


You can also practice conscious breathing throughout the day, whenever you feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed. Simply take a few deep breaths and focus on your breath, it can be a helpful tool to bring your mind back to the present moment, give yourself space and to release any tension you may be holding in your body in that moment.


It's important to remember that conscious breathing is a simple yet powerful technique that can be integrated into your daily life in a variety of ways. The key is to make it a consistent practice, and to be patient with yourself as you learn to focus on your breath.



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