What is breathwork?
Let’s break it down on a physical level.
This type of meditation is great for stress as it nurtures your nervous system. Because it is an active breath it really supports your body, allowing you to engage it while also relaxing it deeply.
It has been scientifically proven that deep breathing has an effect on your brain, heart, digestion, immune system, and even your genes! The sympathetic nervous system is triggered during stress, which is our “fight or flight” response. Breathing deeply stimulates an opposing parasympathetic reaction, this is the system that will help to calm you down. It has been proven that even short spans of deep breathing can have an effect on the stress response in our bodies (down to our cells and even our DNA), which is pretty amazing.
The two part breathwork also stimulates your hypothalamus gland, a small almond shaped glad inside the brain. This gland maintains the homeostasis of the body, it has control over many functions in the body like your heart rate, blood pressure, sleep cycles, and it also produces substances that influence the pituitary gland to release certain hormones into the body. Hormones such as Oxytocin which is what is released when you orgasm and it is also the hormone connected to your ability to trust, and CHR which stimulates the adrenal glands to release corticosteroids which helps your immune system.
Why is grounding so important during breathwork?
If you have done a workshop with me before you know how much I stress the importance of grounding and how I use Earth energy in the meditations.
One of the most important things breathwork can do is to relax the nervous system. When we are running on overdrive, stressed, anxious, busy (these are all ungrounding activities and states, by the way), it is hard for us to tap into our wisdom. We need to be relaxed, grounded, and open to really listen to what our body, our intuition and our souls are telling us.
All meditative practices (and most spiritual work) embody the principals of the element of Air. During the breathwork meditations I will show you how Air energy can guide you further into the body, not out of it. Air energy can also be used to direct energy. Learning to stay connected to the body to help you move through the emotions that might come up, and bring down the wisdom from Spirit is more empowering than leaving to body to go to it (which sometimes happens in this work*) and will help you build the Self.
*I think breathwork is extremely helpful for relaxing the nervous system and creating space in the body. But, I am critical of people that use it to get you out of the body, or to just release emotions to then feel the “high” after. It IS an expansive practice. Air energy is Spirit energy. And that is a YES energy. I would say that the majority of the spiritual and self help work out there is Spirit energy. And those practices feel really good! But, they also disconnect you from your body. It uses the mind or the higher mind. Even yoga is a Spirit based practice, even though it involves the body, but its entry point is all Spirit / mind / male. So, my aim as a guide is to use breathwork to help you expand, BUT to do so while helping you stay connected to the body. Which means not denying any of your experience. This is so important to know as you move forward doing any kind of spiritual work.