In our modern age of chaos and strict schedules, we often neglect the internal balance between body and mind. When we think of getting in great shape or becoming healthy, our first thought is to spend hours in the gym and hundreds of dollars spent on 'healthy' food.
While these are great goals to have, they're only half of the equation. When we learn to become centered in the moment through breathwork, amazing things can happen. If you're ready to take an alternative approach to health and wellness, here's what you should keep in mind in the following weeks and months.
Elevated Mental Efficiency
With the demands of our current era, millions of people are looking for ways to rise to the demand of their workplace. Whether it's joining a CrossFit gym, having an extra boost of caffeine before heading to work, or spending weekends attending seminars, people want peace of mind in their waking hours.
One of the most powerful tools that we have at our disposal is the ability to manipulate our breathing patterns for a short duration. The next time you have a few minutes to spare, find a quiet place where you can go undisturbed.
To start, focus on the sensation of your breath in through the nose, and then out through the mouth. If your mind starts to wander or daydream from this experience, that's OK! Simply bring your attention back to your breath and notice the small, intricate sensations that occur. Although this practice seems overly-simplistic in its implementation, it can produce impressive results.
While the effects of breathwork are still being studied and discovered, here are some benefits you may experience when performing breathing exercises:
Lower heart rate
Efficient cardiovascular health
Activation of your parasympathetic nervous system
As you can clearly see, there's more than meets the eye when it comes to breathwork. If you're on the fence about implementing the practice into your daily routine, perhaps these positive side effects will encourage you to reconsider.
Your True Self Awakens
While each practitioner who engages with breathwork is a unique individual, there are consistent side effects that nearly all breath workers experience.
Once your breathwork has become a habit, it seems like a whole new sense of wonder opens up to you. Remember the days when you dreaded going to work or studying for a test? If so, you're not alone.
However, many individuals who have undergone extensive breathwork have noticed their ability to rise to meet the demands of challenging tasks increases with each session.
Instead of procrastinating or putting off challenging work until a later date, they rise to the occasion and follow through with their intention. Similarly, it seems the meditative state that breathwork provides may have deep-rooted effects on our minds.
Sara Salazar, a Ph.D. and instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, has shown the influence that meditative states have on our collective awareness. In her findings, practitioners who spend time focusing on their breath every day were able to increase the amount of gray matter in their brains.
While this may not seem like an interesting data point, it lends credence to the fact that breathwork and meditative states can produce outstanding results for the practitioner. While there is a myriad of components within our brain that are responsible for well-being and joy, gray matter largely contributes to active memory recall, learning new concepts, logical processes, and emotional regulation.
Is Breathwork Right for You?
If you're someone that wants the best out of their life, or you want to experience the calm and stress-free lifestyle you've always dreamed about, breathwork can help you.
Imagine a world where you can sit in a quiet place for 15 or 20 minutes, control your breathing, focus on the air entering and leaving your body, and then go about your day recharged and energized. If that sounds like something that would help you in the upcoming months, try starting a breathwork routine today.