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Why is breath work important?

Breath work is the act of utilising breathing techniques or exercises to improve your mental, physical or spiritual well being. At one point or another in your life, someone has told you to breathe in and out. It could have been to calm you down when you were stressed or part of an exercise routine. We all know that breath work can benefit us in a variety of different ways but how many of us are actually practising it?

Today we’re going to talk about the importance of breath work and how best to begin using or teaching it.

What benefits does breath work offer?

Breath work can help you to alter your mood, improve your health and in many different situations and activities in our daily lives. In essence, having better control over your breathing will provide you with benefits that can help improve your quality of life.

People regularly use breath work to:

  • Promote positive self development

  • Boost their health and immunity

  • Deal with stressful or emotional situations

  • Increase their self-awareness

  • Boost creativity

  • Increase their confidence and self-esteem

  • Overcome addictions

Breath work is also an important focus in meditation, yoga and other wellness focused practices. By controlling our breathing we’re able to better focus on absorbing information, which is ideal for meditation as it allows us to shut off our busy minds. The same principles can be applied to studying, work and all sorts of physical activities.

How do you practise breath work?

Knowing the importance of breath work, you now need to look at the best ways to practise it. However, breath work isn’t as simple as just breathing in and out aimlessly. Fortunately there are a number of easily accessible practices you can begin with.

  • Box breathing

  • Diaphragmatic breathing

  • Pursed Lip breathing

  • 4-7-8 breathing

  • Alternate Nostril breathing

  • Breath Focus technique

  • Equal breathing

  • Resonant breathing

Box breathing, also known as square breathing or 4-4-4-4 breathing is a great place to start for beginners to breath work. It requires you to follow six simple steps to calm and regulate your autonomic nervous system, regulate body temperature, reduce stress and even lower blood pressure.

  1. Sit up straight and breathe slowly out of your mouth

  2. Slowly breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, filling your lungs with air

  3. Hold your breath for a count of 4

  4. Breathe out for a count of 4

  5. Hold your breath for a count of 4

  6. Repeat the process

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