Breathing is automatic and involuntary and is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, a network of nerves that manages these processes. Consciously inhaling and exhaling with deep abdominal breaths is relaxing and reduces stress, anger, anxiety, grief, and depression.
Breathwork activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure. It increases the oxygen in your blood and improves your energy and stamina. Breathwork can boost your immune system and help to detoxify your body. In addition, as you learn to control your breath, it becomes a calming tool you can use during challenging situations.
There are many different types of breathing exercises. For example, box breathing is performed by inhaling and exhaling through the nose and holding each step for four seconds. Doing these steps and holding each one consecutively for four, seven, then eight seconds is called 4-7-8 breathing.
Three-part exercises are good for grounding and mindfulness when you inhale and exhale while following your breath through your body. A bellows breath includes arm and hand movements and can be exhilarating.
Breathwork has been used in yogic movements, meditations, and martial arts for thousands of years. It can be incorporated into a spiritual practice to raise awareness and promote inner harmony. In India, Prana means breathing forth in reference to the dynamic life force energy. This life force flows through your body with your breath. When you are balanced, your prana moves unimpeded through your chakras.
In Chinese medicine, the air and breath are called Chi. They are in the energy field that surrounds us and all things. Breathing exercises improve the flow of Chi throughout your body and lead to pure awareness. Shamanic breathwork has been used for healing across many cultures. It is often combined with music and rituals and sometimes creates a state of ecstasy.
In the 1960s, Leonard Orr reintroduced breathwork to the modern world with his rebirthing technique that unlocks memories and releases negative emotions. Dr. Stanislav Grof developed the Holotropic method to access a healing state through breath and music. Since then, many new forms of conscious breathing have been created, with some focusing on nasal or mouth breathing or blending the two.
Best Life-ing offers a personalized 75-minute Conscious Breathwork session that addresses your unique needs to elevate your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. A Conscious Breathwork Serene Escape experience includes a day pass to the state-of-the-art spas at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort and Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California.