Your body can thrive because of the oxygen that is provided by breathing. Although often overlooked, your breathing is vital in all means of life. It changes you while you’re under stress and other emotions, either physically or emotionally. Meanwhile, controlled breathing or breathwork assists in bringing your body into balance and reducing stress. Like how different people breathe, there are different types of breathwork. Their distinction lies in their techniques.
Even while breathwork is not new, it is just currently becoming popular as a simple yet powerful way to achieve a Zen state of mind. In terms of long history, countless people have used breathwork for thousands of years, and its roots are in yoga. The fundamental tenet of breathwork is nourishing. Practicing a fine breathwork technique makes your mind free from negativity and lesions.
If you have ever inhaled deeply, you are already familiar with breathwork to calm your anxiety. Your mood, focus, and even the rest of your day can shift with just one deep breath. Frankly speaking, a lot of physical and mental changes can happen with more controlled breathing that follows a technique. That’s why learning about breathwork is worth it, especially achieving a Zen state of mind.
In today’s slightly chaotic life, having a Zen state of mind is priceless and makes challenges more bearable. It describes a mind that is not focused on the outside world or disturbing thoughts. Not only does it require dedication to breathwork, but also meditation. While it demands effort, the result will always be worth it.
Let’s dive more into breathwork, starting from knowing why there are different types of breathwork in the first place. Scroll down for more.
In reality, there are several different kinds of breathwork. While they are all beneficial in certain ways, some exceptionally suit you more than others. After all, the “one-size-fits-all” approach does not apply to breathwork. Well, the primary reason is that each breathwork type follows a certain and unique technique. That’s why breathwork can be confusing at some point.
Nonetheless, the good thing about the breathwork types is that each approach can be as effective as what it promises. Many people practice breathwork for a variety of reasons. Some use breathwork to boost immunity, enrich creativity, increase joy and happiness, release negative thoughts, and reduce stress and anxiety.
Additionally, others also take advantage of learning breathwork to improve and manage anxiety, anger issues, grief, depression, chronic pain, and the emotional effects of illness. Yet, it is best to bear in mind that not all the benefits of breathwork are included in just one breathwork type. Each has a priority and specific benefits to offer.
Ultimately, the main similarity with any breathwork type is the evident intention to change and control the breathing pattern. Plus, there is a goal to promote either deep relaxation or feeling energized. With that in mind, it is truly important to know what suits you.
Great that it is clear why there are different types of breathwork. Now, let’s move on to actually knowing the most popular types of breathwork for beginners and advanced practitioners. Let’s see why each one differs from the other.
While quick breathing makes you feel worried and alert, slow breathing might help you feel more at ease and present at the moment. And the benefits of self-healing accumulate over time the more you practice. The result of various breathwork techniques varies. For instance, while some aim to increase energy and attention, others aim to relax the body. Quite interesting to discover, right?
Then, waste no time and discover the different types of breathwork below.
Long, leisurely inhales and exhales the hallmarks of circular breathing. That’s why it is also popularly known as equal breathing. Inhalation and exhalation times ought to be roughly equal. It also promotes energy flow by removing energy blockages from the body.
This breathing is imagined as the air entering the body, passing the lower belly, and finally leaving the body through the mouth. Some people may find it more comforting to see roots extending from their feet and legs, anchoring them to the Earth. Primarily, circular breathing aims to smoothen and steady the breath level, promoting an impressive balance and serenity.
Moreover, this breathing type engages with your parasympathetic nervous system. When the fine connection is established, you can feel exceptionally relaxed while eases stress and negative emotions. On top of that, it can allow you to achieve your full breathing capacity to maintain calm nerves and full concentration.
Although there are no natural pauses in the breath cycle, this breathing rhythm is comparable to circular breathing. When breathing naturally, there is a small break between inhaling and exhaling and between two. The core of conscious connected breathing is a continuous cycle connecting the breathing inhale and exhale process.
Moreover, this breathwork type focuses on the two-part inhale into the lower abdomen and chest. The pattern is followed by a passive exhale using a mouth. This requires consistent breathing requiring full movement of the diaphragm. It is highly beneficial since it can support emotional release, regulate the nervous system, ease traumatic energy and fear, and alleviate anxiety and stress.
As obvious in the name, alternate nostril breathing is a breathing pattern that uses each nostril one at a time, blocking one simultaneously. To be specific, when you breathe through your left nostril, you need to close your right nostril using your fingers and vice versa. Thus, allowing you to be better in breathing control.
Additionally, breathing through the right nostril can improve the activity in the left side of the brain. Meanwhile, breathing through the left nostril can improve the activity in the right side of the brain. As a result, you can stimulate both sides of your brain to boost relaxation, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce stress and anxiety. On top of that, this breathwork technique can improve overall health.
As a way to calm and concentrate your mind, this breathwork practice incorporates counting beats as you inhale and exhale. Specifically, the pattern is to take four beats to inhale, hold your breath for seven beats, and then take eight beats to let out. Exhale for a long period to completely clear out the lungs.
You can never go wrong with the 4-7-8 breathing technique if you want to gain better breath control and need help with sleeping. Greatly, it is best to promote relaxation, combating stress and anxiety. For controlling mood, cravings, hypertension, migraine symptoms, and asthma symptoms, this type is the one you need to learn.
Box breathing follows a consistent technique aiming to concentrate on taking slow, deep breaths. Popularity-wise, many people use it when dealing with high-stress environments to distract the mind from stress efficiently. With that being said, it helps with stress reduction and improves performance.
At the same time, box breathing can help lower blood pressure and body temperature to maintain calmness. Regular practice of this technique can help improve mood, manage psychological issues, and help with pain management.
The pursed lip breathing practice follows slow breathing in and out via pursed lips. While it might look too restricted, it can effectively give more control over your breath and make every breath significant and impactful. Slowing your breaths can also help strengthen your lungs.
Pursed lip breathing can be the best solution when dealing with difficult tasks. After all, it can lessen the work required to breathe and relieve the shortness of breath. That way, you will have extra energy to conquer your tasks. Ultimately, it also increases the likelihood of breathing fresh air.
Based on the name, the breath focus technique promotes mindful breathing. This experience also circles around words, phrases, and imagery incorporation. General benefits include relaxation and happiness within you. Also, focusing on your breathing can make you realize your own emotions. The regular practice supports better alertness, vitality, and the immune system.
Aside from focused breathing on the diaphragm, diaphragmatic breathing also involves the abdomen and stomach. By breathing using the diaphragm, you can have increased air in your lungs. It can help you figure out the most proper way to breathe. Continuous practicing can improve core muscle stability, strengthen your ability to tolerate stress and intense exercises, and enhance your concentration.
Advanced breathwork practice is worth learning if you find intentionally changing your breathing pattern beneficial for your overall health. Explore most of the popular types of breathwork for advanced practitioners below.
Participants are led through the session by a facilitator. The two major elements are music and extended over-breathing or hyperventilation. With this, you need to allow the music to flow through your body and resonate with it.
Additionally, a practitioner may use touch, bodywork, group interaction, or creative expression techniques. The music must be evocative. Holotropic Breathwork, like breathwork types, soma alike.
Interestingly, rebirthing breathwork engages with you spiritually to boost peace and joy within you. It accesses your unconscious mind. With the consistent help of a professional, you can conquer your deepest thoughts and negative memories. The best progress is achieving strong emotional strength.
With that in mind, you can move forward in your life happier and calmer. Surely, it feels like a rebirth experience.
Dr. Judith Kravitz created transformational breathwork, which is about self-healing using spiritual consciousness. Also, it engages another advanced breathwork: rebirthing and holotropic. It particularly requires a workshop, training, or private session before you need to practice it on your own.
Learning this advanced type of breathwork can help you with stress and anxiety reduction, enhance self-esteem, and increase energy levels. Besides that, it also supports improved circulation and release of negativity.
SOMA breathwork is a different approach from the other types. It focuses holistically on improvement. To be precise, the goal is simple: correct your breathing. Surely sounds uncomplicated, right? No worries, the benefits are priceless.
Commonly, the benefits include a more balanced nervous system, improved cardiovascular health, and better resilience. As for emotional benefits, you can learn better stress management, gain more confidence, and release negative emotions more easily.
Being a spiritual technique, shamanic breathwork targets an intense method of healing. It is a way of entering a new state of consciousness to simultaneously calm the body and ease the mind. What makes it enjoyable is that it can also incorporate music and movement.
Also popular as yoga breathing, the Pranayama breathwork can help clear most mental and physical blockages. The first help you can gain from this is proper breath control. This advanced breathwork type can greatly help relieve stress and anxiety, increase energy and focus, and boost the immune system.
When you are done learning the holotropic breathwork, you can then extend your experience by discovering neurodynamic breathwork. Since it is an extension, it targets to promote easier access to breathwork workshops. An impressive increase in creativity and more control over their emotions are the top benefits you can enjoy with this one.
Don’t want to live with negative thoughts? If so, you need to learn Vivation to get rid of them. Greatly, it involves a deep healing experience. The primary benefits are increased creativity, the release of negative thoughts, improved meditation, and abilities to reduce stress. Best of all, it can help you manage addictions and improve your relationships with others.
Indeed, each breathwork type offers a unique experience. That’s why the more you learn about it, the more you can take advantage of breathwork. Luckily, there are types you can practice as a beginner. You can conveniently learn the pattern and try it.
When the benefits of advanced breathwork types interest you the most, don’t hesitate to pursue learning them. After all, actually experiencing their benefits are worth your effort. It is much different from just imagining it. Continuously practicing breathwork is the only way to really experience the transformation and growth that comes with it.
Interested in experiencing breathwork with Regina? Regina holds two virtual breathwork sessions a month that you can access from anywhere in the world. Check out www.breathewithregina.com and join us for a session!