Breathwork is a practice for relaxation, stress relief and therapy, which uses different breathing exercises and techniques.
Nowadays there are a lot of variations of breathwork.
Each of them has a purpose, depending on the needs of the practitioner.
However, breathwork, in general, is a powerful healing tool.
Probably it is your first time coming across this alien called ‘breathwork’.
Do not worry – I am a newbie myself!
When I have first heard of it, I was actually wondering what that thing might be.
After reading a couple of articles on the matter, here I am excited to tell you more about it.
Hopefully, you will find it just as intriguing and will stick with me to learn the history, the basics, and tips for breathwork.
Ready? Let’s go!
Table of Contents
It is no surprise that using breathing techniques as a way of spiritual awakening, meditation and relaxation comes from Eastern practices like yoga.
The truth though is that most breathwork variations of today have developed during the 1960s and 1970s.
What is more, this practice continues to evolve and no end is to be seen in the near future.
On the contrary, even more, people are giving meditation and co a go in order to relax and free their minds.
There is a variety of breathwork types.
However, all of them should benefit you in the same way.
Namely, heal emotional and mental traumas, boost immunity, increase self – awareness, improve relationships both with oneself and with others, overcome addictions, reduce stress levels.
Here are some of the most popular ones, used for therapy
This breathwork therapy was developed in the 1970s by Stanislav and Christina Grof.
They were psychiatrists who were interested in how therapeutic are the different states of consciousness.
The goal of holotropic breathwork is to bring your mind, body, and spirit into one.
Usually, holotropic breathwork is being practiced in groups and guided by a certified practitioner.
People are guided through breathing exercises and work in pairs which allows them to support each other.
Music plays. Each session ends with a discussion when participants describe what they have felt and learned.
Also known as ‘conscious energy breathing’ (CEB), this breathwork was developed by Leonard Orr and relies on the claim that every one of us carries the trauma of their own birth.
Eventually, Orr ‘re – experienced’ his birth in his bathtub and felt so free, that he decided to help other people free themselves too.
That is the main goal -to release stored emotional or energy baggage you have been carrying since being a child.
Again, it is advisable to do this type of breathwork with a certified practitioner.
You will be asked to relax and breathe in a ‘conscious connected circular’ way.
The latter means that your breathing will be continuous without spaces in between.
Diving into deep relaxation, makes your brain release the subconscious tension.
This technique was developed by Ashanna Solaris and Dana DeLong and it resembles the rebirthing breathwork.
Just like CEB, practicing clarity breathwork should release any kind of emotional or energy blockages.
At the beginning of every session, the participant is being asked about present worries and past experiences.
The certified practitioner is supposed to teach people how to breathe fully, which will allow them to free themselves from their traumas.
As many benefits as breathwork might have, there are some risks as well.
It is recommended to consult with a professional before deciding for a breathwork session.
You should not participate in it if you have any of the following conditions:
-high blood pressure;
-recent injuries or surgery;
-severe mental illnesses, panic attacks or psychosis;
-pregnancy or breastfeeding
Besides, there is a risk of hyperventilation because of the deep state of relaxation you fall into.
This means some people might feel uncomfortable sensations such as weakness, dizziness, muscle spasms, heart palpitations, clouded vision or even seizures.
Therefore you should be very careful and trust only qualified professionals to guide you during the procedure.
The best tip we can give you is to search for an organization that can be trusted.
This way you will be sure that you will get the best breathwork possible.
Something else we would like to stress on is to consult with your doctor before your first breathwork session.
It is important that you are sure it is safe for you.
After all, it will make you feel better, release any emotional or mental tension and not worsen your health.
This can be done by noticing how you are feeling during a breathwork session.
If there are sensations bothering you, discontinue the practice.
Apart from the main topic, we would like to give you a few more tips on releasing stress.
Exercise is probably the best way to unwind.
Find the movement which makes you happier and does not feel like a punishment.
Whether be it dancing, strength training, walking, biking – it does not matter!
Your body loves to be active!
Iris can be very helpful in stress relief as well.
We are constantly looking at a screen and our eyes tire.
This can cause a feeling of stress as well.
It comes with a few different regimes and you can choose one, depending on your needs.
Try it out and forget about the eye pain and the headaches!
Breathwork includes breathing techniques which should bring you relaxation and feeling of letting present or past trauma go.
Having roots in the ancient Eastern culture experiences its renaissance since the 1960s and 1970s.
The three main types of breathwork techniques today are holotropic breathwork, rebirthing breathwork, and clarity breathwork.
It is common that after the end of every session, participants share their experiences with each other.
However, you should be careful with breathwork.
There are risks if you suffer from cardiovascular disease, have a mental illness, vision issue or other health problems.
Always consult with a professional before taking part in any breathwork therapy.
Author: Ilina Stoyanova
Publisher: Kalina Shushlina