Before COVID, we had a pandemic of stress, the silent killer. While people sought out different therapies to help manage their stress, many of them involve using breathwork techniques.
Breathwork is the act of using breathing techniques to help calm the mind and release tension from the body. This technique gained popularity in early 2020 when The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow debuted on Netflix.
Controlled breathing has been shown to lower stress, improve alertness, and strengthen the immune system. But what exactly is breathwork, and why are people so fascinated with it?
Breathwork is a collection of exercises that teaches you how to control your breathing rate and depth. The intention is to increase your perception of your breath and, in turn, offer the same benefits as a meditative practice.
A morning session of 20 to 30 minutes will be perfect, but three minutes of conscious breathing are sufficient to improve your outlook and mood. Exercising in the morning is better because the brain is calmer, allowing you to reach a meditative state faster and with fewer distractions.
While not everyone experiences physical symptoms, many people do. In the first few sessions, many experience vibrations, and a tingling sensation caused by a reduced oxygen flow to the brain can also cause well-being feelings.
It's all a sign of the release of emotional and physical tensions, and you can find yourself feeling incredibly calmer afterward. This practice focuses on remaining present and letting go of past experiences.
As we get rid of CO2, our blood becomes alkalized; this shift in pH can improve alertness, memory and keep your body tissues healthy. Research also shows that people who practice breathwork have a less severe anti-inflammatory reaction.
Breathwork can be practiced at home by yourself or with the help of an instructor. It gives you the ability to induce a sense of peace and allows you to control your emotions.
We want to feel okay and in control, and breathwork helps us achieve that type of control, especially in times of stress. Techniques like transformational breathwork are about letting go and not forcing your breath, many people find it difficult to do at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll feel better!