Why this simple wellness practice is gaining popularity
You might be familiar with the notion of ‘tuning in’ to your breath. Focusing on your inhales and exhales is a key part of many forms of exercise, such as yoga and Pilates, and also plays a significant role in mindfulness and meditation.
But now breathwork is becoming a wellness trend unto itself, with an increasing number of people seeking out breathwork classes, which are singularly dedicated to the practice of connecting with your breath.
So is breathwork just breathing in and out, but… slowly? Not quite! Here’s everything you need to know.
What is 'breathwork', anyway?
Breathwork can be described as the concentrated practice of directing your inhale and exhale patterns. While some breathwork can be as simple as breathing in for a few counts, then out for a few counts, there are a multitude of different styles that offer different benefits for your mind and body.
Breathwork is focused predominantly on your lungs and diaphragm, but more intensive practices can often incorporate your abdominal muscles to allow you to get deeper into your breath. Some common forms of breathwork include the Wim Hof method, Vivation, and Holotropic, which each aim to promote healing and mental clarity.
Which form will be right for you depends on your needs and personal preference. You also might want to discuss it and double check with your doctor, as the more intensive breathwork sessions may not be suitable for everyone.
What are the benefits of breathwork?
Manipulating your breath is said to be able to balance stress levels, improve sleep, give you more energy and boost your mood – not unlike breathwork’s close relative, meditation. But while meditation is primarily centred on the mind, there is an inherent physicality to breathwork, which has also been said to soothe inflammation in the body.
The benefits you will experience are dependent on the type of breathwork that you engage in. For example, box breathing is said to benefit the autonomic nervous system, which can help to provide a sense of calm in the body, while the 4-7-8 breathing technique is said to be beneficial for regulating your emotions.
Okay, I’m sold. How do I get started?
You can try breathwork at dedicated classes in your area, but it’s also really simple to incorporate the practice into your current routine at home. There are lots of free guided breathwork sessions on YouTube, or you can even sign up to an online program like Leah Simmons’ KAAIAA classes.
The easiest way to ensure that you stick to a routine is to add it on to established habits. Set time aside for your breathwork each morning, perhaps alongside your daily Welle routine – add two teaspoons of The Super Elixir™ to water, shake and set aside to have on hand during your breathwork.
You’ll definitely be grateful for the hydration, and our premium greens powder will also be working alongside your practice to improve your energy levels and mood, as well as give your body all the nutrients it need to thrive.