"Breathwork" is an umbrella term for various types of breathing practices and techniques, and almost all of them are in some way a modernized form of Pranayama, a practice with a long history of India. Wikipedia defines Breathwork as “an umbrella term for various New Age practices in which the conscious control of breathing is meant to influence a person’s mental, emotional and/or physical state, with a claimed therapeutic effect”.
BREATHWORK HEALING - emotional and trauma releasing technique
The style I facilitate in sessions is an emotional and trauma releasing technique. Sometimes referred to as "2 part breathing", ”conscious connected breathing” or “Circular breath” (which means each breath is connected to the last one and also the next one without pause) but my teachers just call it Breathwork Healing. It is a very powerful active meditation where you are lying down, breathing through your mouth to carefully curated music for some extra help to relax, motivate and release. You are guided through the whole session and it can be very profound but also quite challenging.
Breathwork might not be for everyone, but if you have an open mind and a willingness to work on yourself, I am certain that you might get a deep and profound experience, gain an increased awareness that can actually create a forward moving effect on your life. For me personally - this has utterly changed my life.
You will be able to work through areas where you might have stuck energy or stored emotions or stress. Opposite to yoga, where we usually access the parasympathetic nervous system to allow our body to restore and recover, we in this specific style of breathwork access our sympathetic nervous system to release and create a possibility for an emotional detox. This is work for your physical, emotional and mental body. We store memories, traumas, stress in our body which can create an unhealthy state shown by anxiety, depression, aggression, burnout, addiction and sometimes even physical pain.
How it practically works is that you lay on your back in a comfortable position on for example a yoga mat, and will be guided throughout the whole session. The breathing technique will first be explained and tried out before we start breathing. It can be a bit challenging in the beginning, but with the guidance and music you will feel safe and comfortable and you will find a good rhythm, where the inhale turns into an exhale, and the exhale merges with the inhale.
This active meditation can be a really powerful and create a profound experience, so the session is created with that in mind. The purpose is to get the best possible experience and biggest awakening for all. It does not matter if you are a full time yogi, a long time mindfulness practitioner or if you have never tried mindfulness, meditation or breathwork before.
The intention is to facilitate the release of emotions in a safe way, release limiting beliefs and replace them with healthy, loving thoughts. Tapping into your intuition, releasing your creativity and opening your heart to self love and self acceptance.
To love others, it starts with you. Taking good care of you will enable you to take good care of others.
OTHER BREATHWORK TECHNIQUES
Wim Hof developed this breathing method in order to keep his body in optimal condition and in complete control in the most extreme conditions. It's done by inhaling through your nose, and exhaling through your mouth, working in the parasympathetic nervous system, and it also includes breath holds.
Holotropic breathwork was developed during the 70’s by psychiatrists Stanislav and Christina Grof to achieve altered states of consciousness (without using drugs) and was seen to be a quite unconventional New Age practice. It involves controlled and quickened breathing patterns to influence mental, emotional, and physical states within a spiritual framework.
Intense form of meditation done in a group setting where you are paired in small groups of two. It takes about 2-3 hours, the music is repetitive and afterwards the participants draw mandalas and talk or discuss their experiences.
Developed by Dr. Judith Kravitz and this is an advanced self-healing modality where different principals from metaphysics, Kundalini Yoga, breath analysis, sound healing, body mapping plus other healing and spiritual principles in integrated
GREAT BREATHING EXERCISES
ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING - Nadi Shodhana
Alternate Nostril Breathing is a wonderful breathing to help calm the mind and relax the body. This type of technique encourages deep, slow breathing in the parasympathetic nervous system.
You improve oxygen levels and allow the energy, prana, to flow freely. The left side of the brain is for common-sense analytical thinking and logic. The right side is for sense and creativity. By alternating, and oxygenating, both sides of your brain, it is said to improve brain function. Slower, deeper breathing techniques usually bring you down from your head and help you focus on being present.
How it is done is by closing in your index- and middle finger on your right hand into your palm, leaving thumb, ring- and pinkie finger free. You take the thumb and gently closing the right nostril, to then breath into the left. Slow inhale, count to 4. Hold the breath on the top, shift so the ring finger closes the left nostril, and exhale through the right nostril and count to 4. Inhale through the right, shift again. and so on. You can eventually increase the counting, i.e prolong the inhale and exhale
Good before bedtime. Gets you to connect with your body and your breathing with the intention of taking your mind away from the thoughts that may keep you up at night. Helps to relax and rebalance the parasympathetic nervous system and promote a state of calm.
Exhale all air completely through your mouth, making a “swhoosh” sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a swhoosh sound to a count of eight.