5 breathwork practices that work.
Here are 5 foundational breathwork practices that work. Some important observances in the practices are:
- Always breathe through the nose unless otherwise instructed.
- Never strain. As this may damage your lungs. Always keep the breath natural.
- Stop the practice immediately if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
1. Observation of the breath
The first step is to tune into the rhythm of your breath. This is valuable for you no matter where you are on your journey. You can learn so much about your current state, physically, mentally, and emotionally by observing how your breath is flowing.
It’s very common in a situation of panic. Overwhelm, anxiety or stress for you to hold your breath. In these situations, your nervous system automatically goes into the fight or flight mode. This reaction comes from the primitive part of your brain. In essence, your body is going into survival mode.
When you begin to consciously observe your breath, the breath becomes a function of the cerebral cortex (the evolved area of the brain) rather than the primitive brain.
All your attention is on this one single point, your breath. Your mind is also more focused. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated, so you should be feeling a lot calmer, relaxed.
The skill is to refrain from changing the breath. Simply observe. Notice how the breath spontaneously changes in different situations. This is the aim of the practice.
Give this a try:
Take a moment to notice how your breath is spontaneously flowing.
Are you breathing slowly or is your breath fast?
Is your breath shallow or are you breathing deeply?
When you are feeling calm and relaxed the breath is much slower and deeper, there may be more pauses in between each breath.