So, what’s a girl meant to do when she’s got a closet brimming with yoga pants and a masseuse on speed-dial and she somehow still can’t find peace of mind? Apparently, just breathe.
With a few techniques and guidance, breathing can actually have some pretty prodigious benefits, aside from just keeping you alive. We’re talking stress-reducing, mood-enhancing, and even health-boosting benefits.
What exactly is it? Dan Brulé, expert and renowned pioneer in the field of breathwork, defines it as “the art and science of using breath awareness and breathing exercises for health, growth, and change in body, mind, and spirit.”
Much like many of the wellness practices blowing up our Insta-feeds (crystal healing, anyone?), breathwork isn’t new. In fact, you might have already come across it in your Wednesday night yoga class. “Breathing training is really entering the mainstream in a big way these days,” says Brulé. "Now science and the medical community are acknowledging the use of breath as a self-help, self-healing tool."
Certified breathwork teacher, Erin Telford, theorises the technique’s newfound popularity saying, “we’re an instant gratification society and this is instant gratification”. Or it could be that we really are just that stressed out. Healing artist, Debbie Attias, says "the current political climate and the ways that we communicate have created a lot more anxiety and stress. More people are looking to reconnect to the peace within them."
It’s not rocket science either. "If you have a belly button then you're a candidate for breathing," jokes Brulé. But he’s also quick to inform us that there are about as many breathing techniques as there are belly buttons in the world. Figuring out a technique or finding a breathwork practitioner fit for you depends mostly on what you hope to achieve, whether its managing stress, treating anxiety, or dealing with physical or emotional pain. Ready to try it?
Getting in on the breathwork trend is easy. You can actually reap its benefit from the comfort of your own couch (or squeaky swivel chair). Coherent breathing is breathing six breaths per minute, which means a five second inhale, and a five second exhale, making your breathing cycle 10 seconds long. “If you practice coherent breathing, then in just five minutes, the average person lowers their cortisol (the “stress” hormone) levels by 20%,” says Brulé. Not too shabby, eh?
Photos: Instagram and Unsplash