Why is breathwork so powerful?

When someone practises breathwork, they give their direct attention to their breath, using certain techniques and patterns to control it. This is a mindful activity as it necessitates tuning in to your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations.

What is breathwork?

Take a moment to breathe in deeply and exhale slowly. As you inhale, feel the air gradually fill your lungs and move downward into your abdomen. Exhale by expelling the old air from your body, allowing it to gently flow out into the world before you.

How does breathing with intention make you feel? Does it make you feel lighter, calmer, or more connected to yourself?

Breathwork has a remarkable effect on our bodies and minds. When we intentionally slow our breath down and give our undivided attention to this life-giving process, something wonderful happens. We become present in the moment, letting go of our concerns for the future and issues with the past. We suddenly become aware of the here and now, and attentive to our physical existence. 

Furthermore, when we’re rooted in the current moment, we become happier. It’s easy to overlook this powerful truth and ignore our breathing patterns but this genuine superpower within us is easy to tap into and I am ready to inspire you to utilise it.

What are the benefits of breathwork?

Breathwork can quickly have a profound impact on us. Here are some impressive benefits:

1. Breathwork is an act of self-love

For so many of us, self-criticism comes more willingly than extending love and kindness to ourselves. So, it’s crucial that we consciously choose to be more gentle and understanding. Enter breathwork – a self-love instigator!

When we take a deep breath in and out, we connect with ourselves in an intimate way. We naturally tune into our inner reality and experience a heightened sense of awareness.

Regulated breathwork empowers us to channel curiosity towards our deepest wants and needs. It allows us to connect with ourselves and ponder what we’re struggling with, what we desire and what we value in life. This intentional reflection authorises us to see ourselves as multifaceted humans who have gone through a lot and this helps us nurture self-compassion!

Loving yourself becomes easier when you use the breath as the gateway to your soul. Deciding to engage with breathwork is like saying to yourself, ‘You deserve to feel at home in your body, to listen to your internal messages, and to feel loved.’ 

2. Breathwork releases trapped emotions

Bottling up our emotions and avoiding feeling our feelings doesn’t mean the negativity just randomly vanishes, rather, it stores in our bodies. We can’t process the aspects of our lives that we ignore, these difficult experiences and emotions linger. You may have a reservoir of darkness in your body, acting as a heavy weight that’s pulling you down, impeding your ability to appreciate life.

The breath, similar to a powerful current of energy, has the ability to dislodge and release painful experiences, fears and limiting beliefs. So, when you go through something upsetting, mother yourself by dedicating time to do some breathwork. Give yourself permission to feel and breathe deeply.

Additional incentive: Over 70% of toxins are believed to be released from the body via the breath – you can use breathwork to detox and cleanse your body and rejuvenate your mind!

3. Breathwork enhances creativity and unique ideas

If you’re accessing your higher self, you’re connecting to the truest and purest part of you – the you that is free from ego. Words commonly linked with the higher self include purpose, passion, and soul.

We can connect with our higher self through the breath because it provides a bridge linking our physical and spiritual sides, allowing us to tap into the essence of our being. 

Many of us learn to doubt our intuition and ignore our curiosities. We’re taught in this society to follow rather than explore, so we have to rediscover how to think independently. When we sit and breathe with intention, we’re better equipped to access the deeper insights, innovative ideas and endless inspiration within us.

There’s an undeniable beauty in honouring your true self and being able to genuinely feel fulfilled. We can open our minds to our inner world of opportunities through controlled breathing.

4. Breathwork can chill you out 

When we’re stressed or anxious we tend to take short breaths from the chest. This restricts the amount of air coming into our lungs and puts our bodies into fight or flight mode. Our bodies take this as a sign that we need to escape a situation – that we’re under attack. Breathing isn’t important just because it gives our body oxygen, it also impacts our mental state. Sometimes we need to communicate with our body that we’re safe by controlling our breath!

Our sympathetic nervous system does less work and relaxes when our breathing deepens and slows down. This has a knock-on effect on our body and mind; we feel calmer and more grounded when we concentrate on our breathing. We’re able to relax into situations quicker and feel more centred when we allow our breath to fill our whole bellies rather than just our upper chest!

4 breathwork techniques for you to try

1. Bee breathing

Inhale deeply through your nose, and as you exhale, with your mouth closed, make a humming sound (like a bumblebee). Hum until you’ve expelled all the old air from your body and enjoy that release! Some people feel shy when doing this breathing exercise but the goal is to make noise, so, let go and be loud!

2. Drinking from a straw breathing

Firstly, you want to slowly inhale through your nose for five seconds – make sure the air reaches your belly and doesn’t stay in your upper chest. Take a couple of seconds to pause in between breaths and then gently purse your lips like you are drinking from a straw and release the air. Exhale the old air gradually through your pursued lips for eight seconds.

3. Balloon belly breathing

Inhale gradually through your nose and allow your belly to slowly expand outward. Try to visualise a balloon filling with air in your abdominal region. Next, you want to exhale gently through your mouth and allow your belly to draw inward back to its normal resting position. Remember to be gentle with yourself when doing this exercise; let your belly delicately fill out and release with care. Remain attentive to the movement of your belly throughout this exercise.

4. Hand-on-heart breathing

Begin by sitting tall in an upright position. Rest one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Engage the breath by counting to five as you inhale, following with a two-second breath hold and then exhale for a count of five. The position of your hands serves as a roadmap for the breath’s journey. Make sure you mindfully observe the subtle movements going on beneath your hands when doing this exercise. 

The benefits of breathwork go on, and I encourage you to continue searching for resources to learn more – I haven’t covered even half of the positive outcomes! As humans, the closest tool we have that resembles a superpower is breathwork. So, inhale deeply and exhale slowly!

If you’d like to explore the benefits of breathwork with a professional, find a holistic therapist near you today.

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Written by Alessia Sutherberry
Alessia is a coach, content creator and writer who cares deeply about making people feel good about themselves. She helps people understand where their self-limiting beliefs stem from so they can foster self-awareness and self-love.
Written by Alessia Sutherberry
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