Almost all living organisms on planet earth breathe. We humans are no exception to this rule. From the first gasp of air coming into the world as newborns - to the last breath before death do us part from the realm of our physical bodies. Breathing is but one of the most essential functions of our human body - and oxygen one of the most important nutrients. But few of us even realise this.
Most of us bring little to no conscious awareness to our normal breathing. And that is despite the fact that we breathe more than 20.000 times each day, our entire life.
We all know that good habits in regard to sleeping, drinking, eating, thinking and so on are key parts to keeping us healthy in body and mind.
So when breathing is so essential to our life, why is it that we do not attend to our breathing habits as we do with our other habits? Maybe because we don’t think it makes any difference how we breathe.
But this couldn't be further away from reality: the way we breathe actually has a tremendous impact on both our psychological and physical state.
Breathing is life changing
In fact every inhale and every exhale changes us. This sounds like an exaggeration, but it is actually true. Our breathing is connected to the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system regulates a wide range of bodily functions and states. And as the name suggests, this regulation happens autonomously in our body.
On each inhale a subsystem of the autonomic nervous system is stimulated. This subsystem is called the sympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of accelerating our state of being; our heart rate increases, our mind runs a little faster and hormones related to fight or flight are released. On the other hand our exhale is connected to another subsystem, called the parasympathetic nervous system. This subsystem is in charge of easing us down, making our heart rate decrease and promoting better rest and digestion. Back and forth our breath works as a waving energy between acceleration and deceleration, between building up, and letting go, between the speeder and the brakes in our body.
The better this waving energy flows, the more flexible and balanced we become.
It is like driving a car: the better we are at applying the brakes and the speeder at the right time, the better drivers we become.
Unfortunately most of us have made a habit of breathing too much and too fast - stimulating our acceleration more and our deceleration less. This results in an overactive sympathetic nervous system, more fight or flight state and less flexibility in our emotional range. This state is what many would label as feeling stressed. We have, so to say, formed a habit of breathing in a way that makes our body react as if we are stressed. A balanced breathing is a 4 seconds inhale followed by a 4 seconds exhale, through the nose.
When we bring conscious awareness into our breathing, we start to experience more balance in our state of body and mind. But the power of the waving energy of breathing can be taken even further, when we start to apply particular breathing techniques.
What is breath work
Breath work is specific breathing techniques designed to activate and shift our state in body and mind in a particular way. From ancient texts we read and learn that breath work has been used as a tool to access non-ordinary states of consciousness, and as a tool to live life in greater harmony with ourselves.
Some of the know benefits of doing breath work regularly are:
- Releases stress
- Balances the nervous system
- Increases emotional flexibility
- Stimulates the heart rate variability
- Stimulates healthy digestion
- Increases Mental clarity
- Energises the body
- Sharpens focus
- Releases toxins stored in the body
- Adjusts the PH balance in the body
- Bettering sleep
Besides stimulating our heart rate and regulating our two sub-nervous systems, it also seems as if a very specific neurotransmitter called DMT is released while doing some of the more powerful types of breathwork. DMT is also called the Spirit Molecule as it induces profound mystical and spiritual experiences in larger concentrations. When these transformative and powerful breathing styles are exercised, people often report of:
- Transpersonal experiences
- Feelings of “oneness with the universe”
- The releasing of trauma
- Physical and emotional healing
- Meetings with, and messages from the divine
- Seeing deep and profound parts of the self
- Revisiting childhood
- Life-changing breakthroughs
- Spiritual awakening
The effect of breathwork
No matter whether you are using breathwork to feel more balanced in your daily life, or as part of your spiritual practice, the effect is unmistakably: breathwork brings about a higher sense of self. A sense of something else and something deeper than just what your chattering mind is telling you, about the life you live and about who you are.
By doing breathwork regularly you start living from a different sense of who you are. This is powerful and transformative, as it brings about higher intuition, greater wisdom and deeper peace.
Breathwork is for everyone, and different types of breathwork can be applied at different times, and for different needs. Powerful and energising breathworks for starting the day and connecting with our intention. Balancing breathwork throughout the day keeping our body and mind aligned and minimising build up of tension and stress. And Calming and Relaxing breathworks for winding down and easing into a restful state.
Breathwork can be done in as little as 5 to 10 minutes, and we highly recommend that you start your day by doing so. Checking in with your intention and sense of self, before starting your day.
We have created a series of breathworks that you can use as part of your daily routine.
Energy Activating Breathwork
Circular Breathing Power
Breath of fire & Alkaline breathing for focus and energy