Just Breathe

Posted By Raw Sugar on September 13, 2022

How Breath Work Transforms Your Wellness 

Palm leaves and girl practicing her breathing exercises

When was the last time you took a really deep breath? In fact, before you read any further, stop and take 5 deep breaths. Sit upright, relax, and inhale deeply with the count of 4. Hold your breath for 4 seconds, and then exhale to the count of 4.  Repeat and then see how you feel. 

Are you lightheaded? Do you feel energized? Did you just realize how shallow your breathe might be? You are not alone. 

Most people for get to pay attention to their breathing, until they run out of it climbing the stairs. But breathing intentionally and taking small breaks throughout the day to breathe, will not only help oxygenate your body, but it has been said that it can reduce stress, alkalize your pH balance, help to regulate your blood pressure, stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, reduce cravings, help ground you in the moment, elevate your mood, clear some brain fog, give more clarity, elevate creativity, relieve pain, put you in touch with your emotions, improve performance, is beneficial for gut, heart and brain health and have an anti-inflammatory effect.  Several types of breathing to perform on your own include 4-7-8 breathing, box breathing, Equal breathing, resonant breathing, diaphragmatic breathing and alternate nostril breathing.  

Deeper breath work practices has also been said to be life changing, paradigm shifting and used to heal and release trauma, addictive behavior, unconscious, limiting beliefs and connect to spirituality. We recommend this be done with a licensed breath work facilitator as it can bring up intense emotional and a dream like state. These include practices such somatic, holotropic, shamanic breathing, rebirthing, neurodynamic and transformation breath work.  

Getting your breathing off auto pilot and starting with daily breath work practice is one of the best and easiest things you can do to elevate your wellbeing. There are several apps that can help you get started such as CALM, BRTHWRK, HEADSPACE and SIMPLE HABIT.  You can expand upon it as you progress on your wellness journey or just use it to help you reduce stress, fall asleep faster, perform better during a work out or live with more intention. 

Breath work can evoke, energize, rejuvenate, awaken, stimulate and strengthen your life source energy. Inhale the positive, exhale the negative and be transformed. 

Start now with these simple techniques

4-7-8 Breath: This breathing practice uses the technique of holding the breath to “press pause” on the busy mind. The sequence is: inhale 4 counts, hold 7 counts, exhale 8 counts. The prolonged exhale encourages the nervous system/whole body to let go of stress and emerge feeling renewed.

Alternate Nostril Breathing: To start, place the right thumb pad gently onto the right nostril (just enough pressure to block the air). Inhale in this position, through the left nostril. Then, hold the breath as you switch, placing the right index finger on the left nostril. Once in place, exhale through the right nostril. Inhale here, and then continue switching nostrils before exhaling. This has a balancing effect on the body/mind.

Box Breathing: Also known as square breathing or 4-4-4-4 breathing, is a technique that helps to focus on taking slow, deep breaths. It’s used by a wide variety of professionals and athletes for stress reduction and improved performance. Release all breath, breathe in for the count of  4, hold for the count of 4, exhale to the count of four, hold for the count of 4 and continue. 


Sources: 
https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-is-breathwork
https://www.othership.us/resources/breathwork-benefits
https://metro.style/wellness/mind-and-spirituality/benefits-of-breathwork-and-how-to-do-it/32445

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