Breathwork is an active form of meditation performed to improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Any type of breathing exercise or technique can be categorised under breathwork therapy. Breathing allows you to disconnect from the mind and return to wholeness. Guided by the body and heart, different breathwork techniques help you feel more equipped to handle stress and anxiety.
There are many forms of breathwork that involve intentionally changing your breathing pattern, in a conscious and systematic way. Every technique has a unique effect on the body and people practice breathwork for many different reasons. Overall it promotes deep relaxation and helps decrease levels of stress. People find improvements in their emotional state, feeling more energised.
“Breathing consciously is not only about bringing in oxygen into your body, it’s more about telling your brain that the environment is safe and there is nothing to stress about,” explains integrative health coach Neha Ranglani on Instagram. In a post, she explained that unless you breathe properly, what you eat or how much exercise will not matter much.
Conscious breathing is responsible for activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This allows you to digest better and perform a metabolic activity, assimilate and everything that your body needs to do in order to constantly repair itself.
The basic idea is to breathe “slow, deep and effortlessly.” “You can just focus on slow steady deep breaths without too much effort and no matter where you are or what you are doing,” expressed Neha. This will always help in bringing your focus back to your breathing and consequently experience the calmness.
Neha also explained what are the unexpected things that happen to your body when you practice breathwork:
- Reduces clinical stress and anxiety
- Supports emotional intelligence
- Increases the body’s immune response
- Improves sleep
- Increases focus and concentration