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Breathwork Dynamics: Unveiling the Science and Practices for Meditation

Guest post by Soma Breath

aura, energy, energy work

What is Breathwork?

Breathwork is an ancient practice found in many spiritual and cultural traditions like

yoga, which has made a comeback in today's wellness world. Beyond its old roots,

scientists are now studying how breathwork can help our bodies and minds. This

article gives a closer look at the science behind breathwork where you would

understand how breathwork activates sympathetic and parasympathetic systems in

your body and leads to relaxation, lower blood pressure, and improvement in mood.


Breathwork includes many breathing techniques that allow you to consciously

control the breath by either slowing down or holding it. Regular practice of

breathwork helps to optimize how you breathe, leading to improved overall well-being.


What are the Scientific Benefits of Breathwork?

breathwork, yoga

Reduction in Stress

Controlled breathing helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system

which promotes relaxation in the body. This reduces the stress hormone cortisol

levels which are generally produced when an individual is in a stress-provoking or

threatening situation to prepare the body and mind for flight or fight. Breathing

helps to relax muscle tension, especially the chest and diaphragm muscles.


According to the National Library of Medicine, diaphragmatic breathing has shown

positive results in various stress-related conditions like high blood pressure, stress-

induced insomnia, stress-induced pain, and irregular or painful periods.


Regulation of Emotions

With the help of various breathing techniques, you can regulate your emotions which

helps to promote emotional resilience and stability. There is a small area in the

mind called the amygdala which is the seat of emotions and helps in processing

emotions. Breathwork, like mindfulness breathing where breaths are counted to

enhance focus, helps to better manage emotions. Also, when you are mindful of the

breath in the present moment, the cycle of rumination and thoughts about the future

are broken.


Improved Respiratory Health

Breathing techniques not only boost lung capacity but also enhance oxygen

exchange, enhancing overall respiratory health. This is particularly advantageous for

managing respiratory conditions. Some of the breathing techniques, particularly

helpful for respiratory health are Diaphragmatic Breathing, Alternate Nostril


Two breathing techniques that can easily be practiced at home

meditation

Pursed Lips Breathing

Pursed lips breathing is a slow breathing technique where you inhale deeply through

your nose and exhale through your mouth by puckering them as if you are blowing

out a candle. Here, exhalation is longer than the inhalation. This is a relaxing

breathwork and is often recommended to people suffering from asthma or chronic


The process of Pursed Lips Breathing:

1. Sit comfortably on a chair.

2. Take a slow and deep breath in through the nose and allow the chest and belly to

fully expand.

3. Purse lips as if you are blowing out a candle and exhale through the mouth,

keeping the exhalation twice as long as the inhalation.

4. Repeat the above 10 to 15 times, focusing more on the exhalation aiming for a

smooth release of air.


Box Breathing

Box breathing is an easy breathwork practice that allows you to inhale, hold, and exhale the breath that promotes calmness and reduces stress hormones.


The process of Box Breathing:

Before starting, know that you will be imagining a box or a square in your mind and

mapping the breath to all its four sides. Starting from the left side (inhale), top (hold), right side (exhale), and bottom side (hold).


1. Sit comfortably on a chair with your feet flat on the floor.

2. Inhale to the count of four mapping the left side of the box in your mind.

3. Hold your breath to the count of four while mapping the top side of the box in your

mind.

4. Exhale to the count of four, mapping the right side of the box in your mind.

5. Hold your breath to the count of four, mapping the bottom side of the box in your

mind.

6. Repeat the above cycle 15 to 20 times.


How does Breathwork Help with Meditation?

meditation, breathwork

Intentional breathwork helps in taking the mind into an altered state of

consciousness, helping you feel things differently, raising more awareness. Breathing can help you be more mentally and physically calm, balancing the body and the mind, which provides a foundation to begin a meditation practice. In meditation, you can simply observe your natural rhythm of breath which is called mindful breathing.


Mindful breathing is paying attention to the full inhalation and exhalation without

judging the rhythm of it. While observing, you can feel the breath inside the nostrils

and against the throat and how the belly goes up and down with each inhalation and

exhalation. In this process, the mind may get distracted and drift away, which is fine and perfectly normal. Simply become aware of the distraction then bring your mind back to the breath. Practicing mindful breathing while sitting silently is meditative and doing this practice for at least 15 minutes a day can create a positive impact on your mental and emotional well-being.


In the Soma Breath Breathwork Course, you will find facilitators that have formal training in helping individuals explore various therapeutic advantages of controlled breathing. Not just this, they also provide an environment with enough support for you to learn breathing exercises at your own pace. Visit Soma Breathwork to learn more or try a breathwork session through Soma Breath's YouTube channel.


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