What is breathwork?
Breathwork is about using the full potential of your breath, conducting the inhalation and exhalation, as well as retaining the air. Learning bout bretahwork also means to know about the benefits of breathing techniques and excercises.
Using the breath you are able to activate your self-healing power be it physically or mentally.
Breathwork has a strong impact on stress-reduction, gaining more clarity and serenity, better physical strength and resilience.
In breathwork there are lots of different „schools“: holotropic breathing, rebirthing, Pranayama, shamanic breathwork, the Wim-Hof-method etc.
What all these methods have in common is: higher consciousness and strengthening the connection of body and mind.
I myself am learning and teaching Pranayama-Breathwork. Pranayama is one of the earliest known versions of breathwork, going far back as the Upanishads. Prana is the life-energy (chi in chinese and ki in japanese) ans yama means to conduct or lead. Ayama may be translated as extension. So Pranayama is about conducting and extending the life-energy.
Clarity, will-power and consciousness
Pranayama-breathwork enables you to extend your inhalation in a conscious way to take up the energy of the form of oxygen and by retaining the air to store this energy and to use it. By exhaling you get rid of unnecessary thoughts and feelings and also of toxins and other waste. Practising this consciously driven sequence, your will-power will be strengthened and clarity of the mind will be achieved.
In breathwork we also focus on directing and elongating aus vital power. Practising the breathing-excercises for a longer period of time, they become autmatic breathing-patterns. Different muscles are in action: diaphragm, abdomenal-muscle, chest-muscle and the pelvic floor muscle. By these muscles, we control our breathing. Breathwork-sessions raise the sensitivity of inner and outer processes. Conscious breathing is being learned and perfected.
As cognitive and physiological processes in our bodies are linked, emotional states can be seen in muscular reactions:
- anxiety results in fast and shallow breathing
- being terrified we hold the air
These are unconscious breathing-patterns and are tightly linked to our psyche. By practising breathwork on a regular basis, the habitual patterns loose their compulsiveness and undergo a wittingly change.
Calm breathing results in a calm mind
Spotty breathing, results in erratic thoughts. To reach continuity of the mind, it is important to be able to control the breath. The impuls for breathing comes from the mind and influences our consciousness and will.
What are the benefits of Pranayama-Breathwork?
Pracrising Pranayama-Breathwork on a regular basis results in a higher respiratory volume, breathing is more deep and calm, the breathing-ratio is much slower. A slower breathing ration cause a better gas exchange (co2 and oxygen) in the bronchioles.
Tetewaves in our brains will have higher amplitudes when doing breathwork. This fact leads to higher activity of the parasympathicus, causing a higher energy level and more vigilance.
Experiences of the past (positive & negative) affect our psyche. These experiences live on in our nervous system and our body reacts on similar incidents happening today and in the future. This fact may lead to stress and trauma. Our feelings create experiences and influence our (re)actions in the future.
The breath and the vagus-nerve
We can hack past experiences and their effects with the way we breathe. Breathing affects body and mind. This being said, experiences of the past can be worked on and handled with a clear mind. The impact of breathwork on body and mind are scientifically proven, as the breth has a direct effect on the vagus-nerve.
The vagus is a part of the parasympathetic nervous-system. The vagus-nerve reaches from the brainstem via the trachea down to the abdomen. The vagus-nerve passes most of our organs, like the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, gallbladder, liver, the spleen and the gastro-intestinal-tract down to the private parts. This shows that the vagus-nerve is also regulating these organs plus forwards messages and information to the brain. For sure, this fact affects our behaviour, cognitive performance and emotions. Emotions are driven by the release of semiochemical like dopamine, adrenaline, serotonine, etc. having their source in the brain.
Deep breathing stimulates the vagus-nerve. A good performing vagus-nerve can release energetic tensions and enable clarity and ease.
The human breathing-system cleanses body and mind.
For that to happen, we hold the key in our hands with Pranayama-breathwork.
The next “Breathwork Starter’s Course” starts on january 31st 2022!
Dive deep into the world of breathwork!