When I was a teen, slow breathing helped me for a myriad of reasons. I used it to balance my emotional state when I felt heartbroken, to calm down on the pitching mound, to help me focus when my mind wandered. Some nights I practiced slowing down my heart rate with deep long breaths. I kept at it for hours as a way to escape boredom.
I wasn’t aware of it then, but the power of conscious breathing – I call it breathwork – was already at play. Longer, slower breaths and breath holds became natural. When a lot of things were beyond my control, I felt as though the one thing I could control was my breath. And I was partially right.
Your breath is something you can control. It’s your breath.
Breath is life … Breath work is life expanded
You breathe unconsciously. That’s just common sense. You wouldn’t be here, alive and reading this, if it weren’t for breathing. But what happens when you breathe consciously?
Breathwork is transformative. It transforms the state of your whole being. If your body is acidic or lacking vitality, breathwork rebalances your chemistry. If your mind is wrestling with itself, breathwork helps dissolve your worries and doubts. If you face your fears using breathwork, you will gain deep wisdom. You’ll transform through one of the universe’s greatest gifts, oxygen.
The cells in your body require two things to create energy, glucose and oxygen. This is a minimalist view of cellular respiration, but it highlights the fact that the energy you gain through food is just one part of the equation.
Breathwork turns your parasympathetic nervous system on and expands your body’s capacity for oxygen intake through the lungs. The brain responds by sending signals to healing body mechanisms, triggering their contribution to the rebalance process. Like a thermostat, your body self-regulates and returns to center. Natural feel-good neuro-chemicals like dopamine and serotonin flood the nervous system to enhance your focus and optimism.
Once again, you are transformed.
Ancient practices in the modern world
For thousands of years, cultures across the globe benefited from breathwork. Spiritual guides in past times saw it as an invaluable skill for survival and for the creative exploration of life. Your DNA is no different.
When you practice breathwork, you’ll experience enhanced immunity, increased confidence, a better self-image and higher self-esteem, more body warmth, the healing of emotional pain and trauma, and enriched creativity.
Simply stated, breathwork helps you digest life.
It helps you refine your energy.
It alchemizes change in your life.
It is your breath. Care for it. It will teach you many things.