Whether you are new to breathwork or practice frequently, we're going to cover some valuable and meaningful techniques that you can apply in your daily life.
Let’s start with a quick primer on what breathwork is and why it’s valuable.
Breathwork is a controlled and intentional breathing practice that can relax the mind and body, reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), reset and calm your nervous system, reduce anxiety, and even bring you into a trance or psychedelic-like state of consciousness. If that sounds intense to you, no need to worry. We are going to cover three different approaches to breathwork so you can find what's right for you:
Relaxation / Daily Breathwork
Deep Meditation Breathwork
Altered Consciousness Breathwork
We approach breathwork in sets of 11, 22, and 44 breaths. Different combinations and frequencies of these patterns brings forward varying results depending on your desired outcome. Each set includes one round of an exhale-hold and inhale-hold. Each hold occurs from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
This example is an easy wind-down session to take a meaningful pause and reduce stress when life feels overwhelming.
Start with one deep inhale and one long exhale.
Breathe deep into your belly, slowly and intentionally.
Begin taking deep breaths in and out at a comfortable pace, counting your breaths.
One, two, three, and so on.
On your 11th breath, take one final big breath in... and release. Letting go of all the stress and tension, feeling it leave your body with the breath.
And hold with empty lungs… for 20 seconds or for as long as feels comfortable.
Then, take a comfortable deep breath into the belly and hold with full lungs… for 20 seconds.
And release the breath, feeling all the stress and tension leaving your body again in this final breath.
Return to a normal breathing rhythm.
Move your fingers, move your toes, and slowly ease yourself back into your surroundings with a fresh and calm mind.
We will cover more core sessions like this in the following sections, but the purpose is to use these techniques on your own whenever you need or feel called to unwind and de-stress.
Approach #1: Relaxation / Daily Breathwork
Approach #2: Deep Meditation Breathwork
Approach #3: Altered Consciousness Breathwork
Disclaimers & Precautions:
- We cannot overstate the importance of practicing breathwork in a safe and comfortable environment away from distractions or interruptions. Find a quiet and private space that allows you to focus on your breathing practice without any disturbances.
- Having someone you trust to be there for you during your first few sessions will help when experiencing intense feelings, emotions, or experiences.
- Always start with a gentle breathwork technique and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the practice as you become more comfortable and experienced.
- Breathwork may lead to intense physical, emotional, and psychological experiences. These are normal and important for your journey of self-discovery. However, please respect your limits and listen to your body during practice. It's okay to pause.
- Do not practice breathwork techniques while driving, operating heavy machinery, or engaging in any activity requiring your full attention.
- Breathwork techniques are not a substitute for medical or psychological treatment. Likewise, if you have any respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, such as asthma or high blood pressure, or you are pregnant or have any other medical conditions that may be affected by changes in breathing patterns, please consult a qualified healthcare provider before practicing breathwork.
- If you experience extreme discomfort, dizziness, or lightheadedness during practice, pause and take a break. If the symptoms persist, seek medical attention.