Many people become breathwork practitioners to still their mind and awaken the body. There are many types of breathwork that vary in length and complexity. Below are some important differences between the various types of breathwork so you can decide what best suits your needs to feel the healing power of breathing.
The Benefits of Breathwork
Breathwork is an art of self-expression. It is a way to communicate with your body. Through the breath, you can tap into your unconscious thoughts and emotions, which can take you to a deeper understanding of yourself and others.
Belly breathing helps you ward off painful physical symptoms like heartburn and headaches and reduce anxiety, insomnia, stress, fatigue, depression, irritability, restlessness, mild panic attacks etc. By helping you relax it also helps you sleep better at night and concentrates your attention during meditation.
Why Breathwork Works
Breathwork benefits all areas of the body and mind. It can help you relax the body, give you flexibility, strength, and stamina. It can help you to quit smoking or cut down on coffee or soda intake. It can relieve chronic pain etc.
The Tools of Breathwork
The tools of breathwork vary from teacher to teacher depending on their personal style and philosophy. Each school teaches a different set of tools that are taught in a different order to fit with their philosophy.
How to Find a Class Near You
A lot of people think they can’t find a breathwork class in their area because it’s too new or too out there. But the truth is that more and more classes are opening all the time.
What to Look for in Your First Class
First of all, find a workshop that has been taught by at least one certified teacher. Even if you want to go beyond workshops and become a certified practitioner, it is important to have had a good foundation from a certified teacher before you do this kind of work on your own.
How to do Breathwork
There are many different types of breathwork. Some of them can be quite intense, and for that reason it’s best to sign up for a shorter class. But the majority are available to anyone, anywhere — at your home or at a nearby yoga or meditation center.
The Three Levels of Breathwork
Each level of breathwork is broken down by the teacher into different subjects and methods. These levels are:
1. Breath Awareness: how to realize the state of your breath. This is the first step in learning breathwork, and it includes learning to recognize that you are breathing.
2. Breath Energy: this is where you learn to work with your breath and its various functions, including how to stay with the current moment, find peace in yourself, or reach out for help from others for assistance.
3. Breath Control: this is where you learn to slow your breath and reach full control over it. You can use your breath alone or with other methods to help you calm yourself down, relax your body, and meditate.
These levels of exercise are taught in a specific order because it is important to have a solid foundation before you move on to the next level. The more tools that you have at your disposal the better prepared you will be for any life situation or challenge that comes your way.
Let’s take a deeper look at the different types of breathwork.
1. Breath Awareness: Breath awareness is the first step in learning breathwork. For some people, it is also the only step and until they learn it, they are unable to fully benefit from breathwork. Breath awareness can be used as a meditation or relaxation technique in and of itself where you give yourself permission to relax both your body and mind by focusing on your breathing and allowing yourself to just be here in this moment with your breathing.
2. Breath Energy: This is where you begin to use your breath as a tool for self-expression and communication with others (if you wish) through meditation, writing, speaking, painting etc… You can also use your breath to help you relax, to get rid of pain, or as a way to make a positive change in your life.
In the first level you are learning how to be aware of what is going on in your body and mind. In the second level, you begin using this awareness to explore who you are and what makes you tick. This can be an enlightening experience that helps you release old habits that have been holding back your self-expression and creativity. By focusing on your breathing, a person is able to express themselves freely without any restraint.
3. Breath Control: In this level, you learn to use your breath as a way of controlling your body and mind. This can be used during times of stress, major life changes, tragedy etc.. For example, you could use breath control to slow your heart rate down when you are experiencing a lot of fear or anger in the moment so that it is easier to make positive decisions instead of reacting instinctively.
The great thing about learning how to control your breathing is that it can help reduce physical symptoms like headaches, muscle tension, chronic pain etc.
Take some time to relax and invest in yourself. Gaining control over your breath can help to ease stress and imbalance in your life and help you become the best you possible!