Breathwork Retreats Offer Dynamic Healing
Humans need oxygen to survive, and every system in the body relies on it. Because everyone does it every day, it’s not something people typically give a second thought. But mindfulness of breathing has become more widely practiced, and breathwork can bring balance to your body.
Your breath is vital for mental clarity, sleep, digestion, immune response, and stress reduction. People who practice breathwork can improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
The term breathwork refers to breathing exercises or therapeutic techniques where you intentionally engage and change your breathing pattern.
Breathwork is not new. Rooted in Buddhism, Tai Chi, and yoga, the practice is centuries old, but new research shows potential health benefits of breathwork include:
- Elevating mood
- Alkalizing blood PH
- Increasing muscle tone
- Promoting an anti-inflammatory effect
While there are several different ways to practice breathwork, the goal of every practice is to move energy through the body. Exercises typically last 20 minutes to an hour; during this time of rhythmic breathing, some people describe tingling sensations throughout their body, raised alertness, increased mind-body connection, and emotional purging.
This is why breathwork is often used to help:
- Boost immunity
- Lower blood pressure and cortisol levels
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Increase self-awareness
- Aid in positive self-development
- Release negative thoughts
- Manage anger
- Improve personal and professional relationships
- Process grief, trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Heal emotional pain
- Enrich creativity
- Overcome addictions
The types of exercises focusing on breathwork include:
4-7-8 Breathing. This is a good practice for calming yourself. Start by exhaling, and then take a breath in through the nose to a count of four. Hold your breath at the top for seven counts, and then exhale for a full count of eight. Repeat this for a total of four cycles.
Alternate nostril breathing. In Sanskrit, it is called Nadi Shodhan Pranayama, which translates to “subtle energy clearing breathing technique.” It helps settle the mind, body, and emotions. Start by placing your right hand in front of your face, and with your right thumb, close your right nostril. Inhale through your left nostril, then at the top of the breath, close the left nostril with your right ring finger, plugging both nostrils. Open the right nostril and exhale. Repeat.
Box breathing. This practice is often recommended because it’s easy to learn and helps “reset your breath.” Sit or lie down on your back. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Become aware of your breath and the feeling of your back pressed against the surface as you breathe. Inhale deeply for a count of four. Then you hold your breath for a count of four and exhale for a slow count of four. After the exhale, count to four, and then repeat these steps for four minutes.
Need assistance with your breathwork? Get help by going on a Thrive Retreat! Our healers provide the health and wellness you need to transform into your best self.