What is Breathwork?
Breathwork is described by Forbes as the new high-performance habit. All over the globe you see people getting “high on their own supply” aka their breath. But what is Breathwork actually and why is there such a hype around it?
The term breathwork refers to any kind of breathing technique or exercise. They are often used as method to balance and reconnect one’s body, mind and soul. The breath can also be seen as a link between the physical and subtle body or the unconscious self.
Many ancient traditions have already been aware about the power of the breath and have developed their own techniques and exercises. Nowadays the term Breathwork is mostly linked to the so called conscious connected breathwork.
Conscious Connected Breathwork
CCB refers to a more therapeutic form of Breathwork where the breather practices a controlled hyperventilation mostly through the open mouth. The full, active and connected breath helps the subconscious to dissolve repressed emotions, unpleasant memories and negative thought patterns and replace them with a deep trust and self-love. Generally, no prior experience is needed to experience the power of the circular breath.
- Better focus & concentration
- Reduction of stress
- Healing of depression & anxiety
- Improved sleep
- Detoxification of the body
- Boost immunity
- New clarity & zest for life
- Increased creativity
- and many more
There are several different approaches to breathwork. It is best to try different schools and techniques to find the type which resonates best. The most important is a professional setting and trust to the facilitator to be able to fully let go.
Types of Breathwork schools include:
- Holotropic Breathwork
- Clarity Breathwork
- Alchemy of Breath
- Shamanic Breathwork
- Soma Breath
- And many more…
Breathwork can be practiced by oneself. Nevertheless, it is recommended to practice the first few sessions with a certified breathwork facilitator. This technique can be very powerful, and some experiences need professional guidance to be integrated.
Breathwork is not recommended for people with:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart attacks, high blood pressure, and angina
- Glaucoma or retinal detachment
- Recent injury or surgery
- Any condition that requires you to take medication
- Panic attack or psychosis
- Severe mental illness
- Aneurysms (or family history)
- Who are pregnant or are breastfeeding (or at least discuss it with the facilitator)
When practiced alone it is best to start with shorter sessions and slowly build up. It is important to set up a safe space and make sure there will be no interruption during the practice. It helps to have a specific Spotify playlist (see below) to set the frame for the journey. Many mindfulness apps such as insight timer also include guided Breathwork sessions.