Our breath is always a constant flow. We only need to connect to it for a few minutes and our whole emotional experience can change for the better. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, connecting to your breath and staying present with it will help slow down stress reactions internally and allow a moment of pause.
Stress has been estimated to cost employers £231 billion a year in health care and missed work according to a recent study.
So with this frightening statistic and the reality tat it is on the rise, shouldn’t we all be motivated to try a little something new to alleviate the pressure?
If simply breathing sounds too good to be true, or the cynic in you questions this technique - fear not. There’s a whole host of scientific research that backs up breathwork as a powerhouse tool we can pull out at any moment in order to improve our health.
Breathing correctly means supplying our bodies with the right amount of oxygen and replenishing the brain and other vital organs with essential nutrients // replenishing the nutrients that boost the brain and other vital organs . Our cardiopulmonary system plays a major role in moving those nutrients around the body — which means it’s the highway transporting all the toxins in our systems, too. Breathing, in other words, can help us control the traffic, keeping the good stuff moving while clearing the rubbish off the road.
Here are a few key ways that integrating breathwork in your life will make a whole lot of difference mentally, as well as physically. Our suggestion is to try between 5 and 10 minutes of daily breath work and monitor changes that start to happen. We guarantee you’ll start to feel the benefits in no time.
It Detoxes Your Blood:
Our amazing bodies are designed so that 70% of toxins are released through the breath. If you are not breathing properly you’re not detoxing properly - it's as simple as that. When you exhale air you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through your blood and into your lungs. However, most of us shallow breathe without realising. So taking the time to connect to your breath and choosing to breath deeply or doing as little as 3 minutes of Kundalini (click here for video) will shift toxins fast!
It Strengthens Your Immune System
It’s proven that deep breathing strengthens the immune system. Oxygen travels through the body by attaching to haemoglobin in your blood cells, so when oxygen levels increase, your body’s ability to metabolise nutrients and vitamins rises this in turn strengthens the nervous system.
It Makes Your Heart Stronger
Specific breathing exercises reduce the work load of transporting oxygen to your heart. Deep breathing leads to stronger lungs and strong lungs pump more oxygen into the blood. The blood then flows into the heart. When blood is healthy, the heart doesn’t need to work as hard to deliver blood to the tissues in the body. Healthy blood = healthy heart. Get breathing!
It Improves Your Mental Health
Breath work increases pleasure inducing chemicals in the brain which help elevate your mood. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is our fight-or-flight response. A powerful system within the body that helps us mobile energy to complete tasks. In small doses the SNS is vital however when out of whack the body and mind can suffer. Breath work can help lower cortisol levels, which calms the nervous system down and stops the body going into fight or flight over the smallest task.
Breathwork For Therapy
If you’re looking to go deeper with breathwork a technique called Transformational Breath is exactly the tool to try. If you’re feeling blocked emotionally and talking isn't helping then this alternative could be right for you. We recommend a couple of sessions of transformation breath - the clue is in the name. This particular technique of deep breathing will access levels of blocked and stuck emotions that you concious mind can't. Emotions are just energy in motion and sometimes we need a little shake up to get them out. For more information on this check out Rebecca Dennis at Indaba Yoga.
So if you were ever sceptical about any kind of breathwork - you may want to give it another shot. The breath is the simplest and most effective tools when it comes to our wellbeing so in the words of Thich Nhat Hạnh, - "Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor". We couldn’t agree more.