You’ve more than likely seen the Breathwork trend pop up again and again online or in real life. Maybe it’s the Wim Hof method, Box Breathing, Shamanic Breathing or Alternate Nostril Breathing? Breathwork isn’t exactly a hit new trend, in fact, it’s been around for thousands of years! There was Pranayama from ancient Yogic practices, breathing meditations from Buddhism, Taoism, Shamanism and martial arts and more!
Firstly, What is Breathwork?
Breathwork describes various techniques that change the breathing pattern to improve mental, physical, and spiritual health and well-being.
In Western Culture breathwork rose to popularity in the 60s and 70s. A time when Yoga and Eastern modalities were on the rise. Where scientific studies were being done on meditation, raising consciousness and LSD. Where Indian immigration rules were lifted and there was a new wave of Eastern teachers in America. It was a time of great change and of course, the greatest time for music! At this time techniques like Holotropic Breathwork and Re-Birthing Breathwork became popular.
In recent years, we’ve seen another resurgence of Breathwork techniques. It coincides with scientific studies proving that Breathwork can absolutely impact our well-being in great ways.
If you’re already excited to try Breathwork but not sure where to begin. We’d recommend you sign up for MerryBody. On the 20 March, we begin the 14-Day Yoga and Breathwork Challenge, get ready for daily Yoga, Breathwork and support from us. Begin your 7-day trial over here!
If you need a little more information on why Breathwork is amazing and should be part of your life, keep reading!
5 Reasons Why You Should Try Breathwork
It’s science, when you slow down your breath and when you breathe through the nose (as opposed to mouth breathing) you trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the natural state of relaxation and rejuvenation. Breathwork helps you get out of the stress zone (sympathetic nervous system) and into the relaxed zone (parasympathetic nervous system).
Try it right now. Close your eyes and take 10 deep nasal breaths.
How do you feel?
Puts you in a great mood
If you’ve ever done a breathwork meditation (you can try one here) you’ve probably felt that post-high. Better breath = better mood.
Think about it, when you breathe properly you receive more oxygen. This helps the general functionality of your body but it also lowers cortisol levels and boosts all those feel good hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Cool huh!
Lowers blood pressure
Various reports have shown that Breathwork can also lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation. As stress is a major factor in high blood pressure, the focus on the breath helps you reduce stress and therefore lower blood pressure. We personally believe that breathwork along with modern medicine could be a great combination for better heart health. Of course, if you do have a known issue, talk to your medical expert about incorporating Breathwork to your regime.
Breathwork is an amazing tool for helping you get to sleep. There have even been studies suggesting that breathwork is one of the best methods to help with insomnia. Controlled, focused breathing helps to slow down your energy so you all asleep faster.
Plus, Breathwork gets you in the present moment. It’s usually those anxious thoughts of the future or regretful thoughts of the past that keep you awake, focusing on your breath is one of the most effective ways to let go of these thoughts that keep you awake.
When you’re stressed your digestion won’t function properly. As we already mentioned, Breathwork helps you get into the parasynthetic nervous system, also known as the rest and digest state. In this state, you will digest your food better and experience fewer symptoms like bloating and gas. This is because when you’re stressed (or in the sympathetic nervous system) your body is pumping blood to areas like your legs, so you can run faster and your eyes, so you can see better. This is fantastic in an actual stressful situation, for example, a swerving car in front of you, but not so important when you’re writing back to your emails after lunch. In this case, you want to be relaxed and you want that blood pumping to the digestive system to work it’s magic without the gas and bloating!
Next time you eat, take a few deep breaths before and eat with more mindfulness. Don’t eat at the computer. Don’t eat on the run.
Alright, now we are 100% ready for this Yoga and Breathwork Challenge to begin!
The practices of Yoga and Breathwork and the unique style we teach inside MerryBody are designed to get your feeling amazing! Begin your 7 day trial today!
Emma + Carla