Last updated March 9, 2022
Breathe in… and breathe out… We may do this automatically—but paying attention to your breath as well as breathing with purpose can actually bring you mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
Science, spiritual teachers and wellness leaders speak a lot about breathwork and health. And we’re discovering that the practice of inhaling and exhaling is more rooted in reality than we might have originally thought. This means that even though results might feel magical, breathwork is very down to earth.
Whether you want to use breathing to invite calm, heal trauma or access a higher state of consciousness, you can use the B.R.E.A.T.H.E. acronym to remind yourself about the power of breath.
B. = BE
The here and now, taking in all the energy within you and around you—that’s the power of focused breathing. Breathwork forces your brain to cue in on the present moment, tuning into your body and inviting tranquility.
Being in the here and now helps you reduce stress, anxious thoughts and emotional turmoil. Some people find it difficult to stay present with meditation, which makes breathwork a great practice to start with.
If you are one of those people who find it difficult to relax, always thinking and having a lot going on in your life, engaging in guided breathwork might just be the way for you to calm your mind.
R. = RECEIVE
One of the most difficult things in life is to allow and receive, whether it’s receiving help, love or clarity. When you engage in a special kind of stillness, you always receive something.
It is one of the greatest gifts of a breathwork practice. From insights to peace of mind, an expansion of the heart or joy, allow yourself to receive with every sincere breath you take.
E. = EXPERIENCE
Many people describe focused breathwork as a profound experience. Some may encounter their deepest truths and desires, others may feel a wave of sadness or an electric jolt of joy.
Whatever you experience is yours to enjoy. No one has the exact same experience when doing intensified breathwork—your life, your past, your desires and your personality are all unique to you. Whatever does come up is then a treasure for you to keep.
A. = ACKNOWLEDGE
When you experience things during your breathwork session, or even afterward, acknowledge it and make it yours. This is the great intergenerational part of doing breathwork. If you are only using breathing in short spurts, without going into an intense practice, this too produces experiences to be acknowledged.
There is no right or wrong. Acknowledge that. And acknowledge yourself for taking the time to do this for your well-being. Five minutes of breathwork is just as good as a one-hour session. Your needs are yours and they change constantly.
T. = TRANSFORM
It’s been said, “Change your breathing; Transform your life.” Breath is at the center of everything we do and it’s only through our breath that we are able to discover more about ourselves.
Breathwork leads to a transformation of your emotions, your body and your mental state—breathing in a better mood and elevating your energy levels. Deeper practices such as holotropic breathwork even have the power to renew cells in your body and boost your immune system. When you invite calmness into your being, the transformation from breathwork can be truly beautiful.
H. = HEAL
Since the body tends to hold a lot of trauma, breathwork has become a tool to heal. With guided and intensified breathwork, you can go deeper into expanding and reaching your higher consciousness and subconscious mind.
There is science showing that you can heal inflammations and diseases with breathing. Emotional trauma and mental distress are other areas where breathwork can come in and release a lot of this. So if you’re looking for a way to become healthier and heal old trauma and wounds, embarking on the journey of your own breath might be a solution.
E. = EVOLVE
The final step of breathwork is to evolve. After experiencing discomfort, joy, healing and tranquility, it’s time to use these gifts and turn them into growth.
It’s difficult to walk away from a breathwork session without any effects at all. It rarely happens. After your breathing sessions, whether they are short or long, let it all sink in. Sit with yourself and just take in all of the sensations, thoughts and emotions that arise. Write them down if you want to remember the lessons and track the process.
No matter how small or big of an insight and effect you feel, they are all a part of your personal growth. And so they are a part of your own evolution. This is where the magic happens.