For many people, the festive season can feel quite stressful and overwhelming. As the colder weather draws in, our bodies' natural instinct is to curl up, curl in, and hibernate. What better way to bring in the cosiest season of all?
With anxiety on the rise in the currently ever-changing world, it's been a tough year for many, and this curling-in serves a purpose; to keep us warm, to keep us safe and to reflect on the year.
There are many ways we can do this; by talking to friends, silent contemplation with a cup of tea, journaling, or today's topic, breathwork.
We tend to go through our days with little awareness of our inner world, causing emotions to store up over time. It's like shaking a bottle of fizzy drink; breathwork is the hand that opens the bottle. At first, the drink may overflow, it may spray everywhere, but eventually, it settles.
What is breathwork?
When you think of breathwork, you probably think of the physical aspect of breathing - the inhaling and exhaling of air. But breathwork is more than an exercise of breathing correctly.
While there are many variations, styles and names, all types of breathwork offer the chance for personal transformation through enhanced mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
The techniques used have been practised for thousands of years as tools for healing and relieving mental, physical, and/or emotional tension. In the practice of being consciously aware of your breath, you invite your body to release stored emotions, and while this may feel uncomfortable at first, it will leave you feeling more relaxed and at peace within yourself.
What are the benefits of breathwork?
Reduce stress, anxiety, depression and anger
Increase your energy levels and immune system
Increase mindfulness, happiness and joy
Release trauma and fear stuck in the body
Helps reduce pain
Release toxins from the body
Explore altered states of consciousness, consciously
How it affects the body 👫
Breathing is a vital part of life; it helps deliver oxygen into your bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide, and the physical benefits of deep breathing are often immediate. You use your diaphragm instead of your chest, inviting your neck and chest muscles to relax, allowing a more significant amount of oxygen to reach your body's cells and organs. By breathing deeply, you can activate your parasympathetic nervous system and, in turn, slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure, creating a feeling of calm.
When your body operates under stress, it releases a surge of hormones that cause a "fight or flight" response; speeding up your breath, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, and putting you in a state of hypervigilance.
Deep breathing can help reverse this response and bring relaxation to your body.
How it affects the mind 🧠
In addition to easing the physical response in your body, deep breathing can also help settle any emotional turbulence in your mind. It can also help you reach a deeper state of mind. While in this state, you may be able to access buried emotions, feelings and traumas and ultimately release yourself from their grip. Some studies also show that breathwork can help with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, SAD, and PTSD, by helping to calm and focus the mind.
How it affects the spirit ✨
Breathwork can also be deeply spiritual, with many people experiencing spiritual awakenings. You can move beyond your body and mind and connect with your core - your "true self" when you practice breathwork. In other words, you can go beyond your ego and connect to your true inner being. This is where many people find their "truth" or answers to any questions about issues they may face in their day-to-day lives.
Mindfulness tips for moving through your day 💡
Set an early morning intention for your day
Be aware of your thoughts, but don't attach to them
Feel what emotions come up, breathe through them
Experience the life force flow through you
As you exhale, send the energy to all the living things around you
Feel your chest and belly rise and fall
Notice the temperature and moisture of your breath
Tune into the muscles and bones moving in your body
Feel your heart beating
Observe how your body feels when you shift from shallow to deep breathing.
Remember to take care of yourself this season. We at Bookwhen invite you to incorporate some breathwork into your daily life; we think you'll love the positive impact it can have on your well-being.
Interested in trying Breathwork? Check out one of our amazing members ✨
Hannah, Diosa Spirit
“Breathwork is a wonderful thing to practice, as, on so many levels, it works to support you. It not only enhances your mental and physical wellbeing, but it also connects you to your soul and spirit - the quiet place within; this then brings more peace and joy to your being.”
The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.