Breathwork: Enhance Your Wellness Goals This 2023
Following a proper method of breathing is vital to our health and wellness. Breathwork signifies the magnitude of being alive and conscious.
Breathing is letting the oxygen suffuse in the body. Oxygen helps the human body sustain itself, as 90 percent of our biochemical and metabolic activities need oxygen.
Therefore, following an appropriate technique for inhaling oxygen is crucial to let a sufficient amount of oxygen inflow into your body.
Understanding Breathwork: The Art of Breathing
Breathing is the fundamental unit of risk, the atom of inner courage that leads us into authentic living. With each breath, we practice opening, taking in, and releasing. Literally, the teacher is under our nose. When anxious, we simply have to remember to breathe.
– Mark Nepo
The word 'spirit' derives from 'spiritus' in Latin, meaning "breathing." breath and spirit are also connected in many other languages. In Hebrew, it is (Ruach meaning "spirit, breath, wind, and mind"), and in Greek (pneuma meaning "air, soul, breath").
Breath is the physical manifestation of your chi (qi), prana, or lifeforce energy. A mindful breath accelerates vitality. Deep and proper breathing allows us to connect to greater well-being and stay calm.
Breathwork is a term used to describe various practices that involve intentional and conscious control of the breath. It can be practiced mainly to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being, de-stress, boost mindfulness and promote relaxation.
Also, it serves as a guide to the well-being of the mind, body, and soul. Conscious inhalation of air decreases stress and anxiety, energizes the body, keeps vibrational energy intact, and allows deeper self-introspection.
Well, breathwork is an ancient technique that needs to be infused into modern lives to enhance a healthy lifestyle. For example, you can go out for morning a walk/workout can indulge in some breath working techniques.
Related: 5 Ways To Rebuild Emotional Agility In The Workplace
Simplest Breathing Exercise Of All Time
There are several types of breathwork techniques, including deep breathing, alternate nostril breathing, rhythmic breathing, and pranayama, a yogic breathing technique. These techniques can involve various patterns of inhaling and exhaling, breath retention, and specific breathing exercises.
Breathwork can be practiced independently or as part of a broader mindfulness or meditation practice. Some people also use breathwork with other therapies, such as psychotherapy or bodywork, to support healing and personal growth.
Here are three simple ways of practicing this exercise;
- Take in the air gently and deeply through your nose. And let your shoulder muscles relax.
- Calmly exhale the air through your mouth, keeping the jaws relaxed.
- Repeat the exercise until you revert to the state of mindfulness.
Listen to: Integrating Breathwork As A Wellness Strategy At The Workplace by Ed Harrold
Breathwork As A Wellness Strategy At The Workplace
Employee wellness and well-being are overriding factors in the workplace. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually sound individuals tend to perform better at work. Issues like stress, poor lifestyle choices, etc., limit one's capability to accomplish excellence at work.
And every corporation must identify the issues in employees and offer them support.
One best way to do so is to adopt a breathwork strategy. This can be done by asking employees to start their day with breathwork or providing them with mindfulness meditation sessions. This way, they can begin their work relaxed and be calm the entire day despite the work pressure.
Besides, employees can be provided with health and wellness apps that support guided meditation audio. Employees can fully utilize the platform whenever and wherever they want, even during working hours. De-stressing is essential between 9-5, allowing productivity and creativity to flow simultaneously.
Practicing breathwork can also make a big difference by enhancing good mood and open communication among colleagues. It can keep a person undisturbed by negative thoughts. Besides, strengthening a positive work culture and the environment by implementing well-being techniques is vital for the 21st-century workforce.
Why not make your corporate wellness program easy and exciting? Vantage Fit offers your employees the most advantaged employee health and wellness solutions and integration.
The importance of breathing need hardly be stressed. It provides the oxygen for the metabolic processes; literally it supports the fires of life. But breath as "pneuma" is also the spirit or soul. We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist. In all Oriental and mystic philosophies, the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. That is why breathing is the dominant factor in the practice of Yoga.
– Alexander Lowen, The Voice of the Body
Here are a few benefits;
- Relaxes the nervous system
- Lessens anxiety and stress
- Helps overcome depression
- Decreases body inflammation
- Enhances intellectual wellness
- Provides energy and vitality
- Promotes spiritual well-being
- Stimulates positive thinking
- Increases mindfulness and holistic wellness
- Enhances mental wellness
- Boosts immunity
- Alkalizes the blood
Types of Breathwork
Here are the types of breathwork that you can promote at the workplace;
The word pranayama comes from two Sanskrit words, Prana and Ayama. "Prana" means life force or breath sustaining the body; "Ayama" translates as "to extend or draw out." Together, the two mean breath extension or control."
When one feels anxious, their breathing involuntarily becomes shallow and rapid. At the same time, your body produces hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol, increasing blood pressure and pulse rate. It also makes your mind highly attentive.
2. Rebirthing Breathwork
Rebirthing is a breathing method that connects one's subconscious mind, which dwells on profound impulses, thoughts, and beliefs. It can help heal internally with issues, suffering, and difficulties concerning well-being. It is also a simple tool to enhance positive emotions.
The Rebirthing Breathwork technique was invented and perfected by Leonard Orr in the 1970s. This technique helps lead a life of excellence, positivity, abundance, spiritual and intellectual transparency if mastered correctly.
3. Holotropic Breathwork
For emotional agility and personal wellness, holotropic breathwork works the best. The process involves fast breathing that helps balance the carbon dioxide and oxygen in the body. Listening to soothing music while practicing this technique can be helpful.
According to a study in 1996, participants in breathwork therapy found a significant change in death anxiety and increased self-esteem. In 2013, 11,000 people over 12 years who participated in holotropic breathwork sessions suggested treating mental and life-related problems. And the 2015 study found that holotropic breathing helps achieve self-awareness at its best.
It is a well-liked self-healing technique that involves controlling and quickening breathing patterns. Holotropic allows self-consciousness to develop and eradicate psychological well-being conditions affecting overall bodily functioning or issues.
4. BioDynamic Breathwork
Gitan Tonkov, the founder of the BioDynamic Breathwork, said that "People become more capable of supporting others to do the same. It's not knowledge based on academics. It is based on creating space and relaxation in your physical body."
Tonkov's BioDynamic and trauma release system is based on somatic therapy that combines breath, conscious movement, energy, and bodywork. The categories of biodynamic breathwork are experienced in both psychological and physical ways - breath, movement, sound, touch, emotion, and meditation. It balances the internal system through deep breathing, tissue/muscle release, fluid motion, and energy purification to live a profound life.
This approach recognizes that trauma may be stored through emotional patterns, chronic stress, and illness. The breathwork sessions involve deep, connected breathing and revisiting ingrained memories and sensations, including sound healing, vocalization, whole-body shaking, and dance therapy.
5. Wim Hof Breathwork
The beauty of the Wim Hof Method breathwork is that there is a basic format, with room for making it work for you as an individual
Wim Hof, The Iceman, is known for his extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures. He holds the world record for spending the longest in an ice bath. His self-developed techniques can make the human body more resilient in the face of physical and psychological stress.
The Wim Hof technique involves breathing that focuses on rhythmic inhalations and exhalations, described by Wim as 'controlled hyperventilation or power breathing'. Practicing the Wim Hof Method will release your inner spirit. It is followed by holding your breath for a certain amount of time. There are three pillars to the Wim Hof Method:
- cold therapy
Practicing Wim Hof breathing exercises will help release energy, influence the nervous system and change the responses of the body and mind.
Tips To Practice Breathwork At Office
1. Start with deep belly breathing:
Take a deep breath through your nose, letting your belly fill with air. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat several times.
2. Set a reminder:
Set an alarm or reminder on your phone or computer to take a break and practice breathing exercises.
3.Practice during breaks:
Take a few minutes to practice breathing exercises. It can be helpful to step away from your desk and find a quiet place to focus.
4. Incorporate breathing into your routine:
Try incorporating breathing exercises into your daily routine. For example, take a few deep breaths before starting a new task or meeting.
5. Use visualizations:
Use visualization techniques to help you focus on your breath. Imagine a calming scene, or count your breaths as you inhale and exhale.
6. Experiment with different techniques:
Try breathing techniques to see what works best. Some popular techniques include square breathing, alternate nostril breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Don't hesitate to incorporate it into your workday, as it is a helpful tool to increase energy and motivation at work.
Read: 13 Mindfulness Meditation Exercises To Improve Your Employees Well-being
Putting an effort to cut down workers' stress is a new culture.
To keep up with the trend, companies today have become open-minded and are offering contemporary ways to improve the lives of their employees. Emphasizing that, alongside work, it is vital to look into matters of personal well-being.
It is quite common for employees to get caught feeling that makes you feel mentally and physically exhausted. But, taking breathing breaks will help employees be consistent and extra resilient at work.
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