Breathwork can be a powerful tool for self-exploration and healing. There are many forms of breathwork out there in the world. Many forms are synthesized from the same roots – ancient wisdom traditions. The type of breathwork that I have the most exposure to is Holotropic Breathwork. This type of breathwork is not suggested to be done alone, but rather in a group with trained professionals supervising. These sessions usually last around three and is usually conducted in a weekend workshop format.
Here is a breathing exercise that I do at least once a week to help clear pent up energy and emotion in my body. This is a simple breathing exercise and meditation that helps to relieve stress and tension. This exercise also fosters relaxation and a meditative state.
1. Create a safe and comfortable space. I like to dim the lights and turn on my salt lamp. Burning incenses or sage is also helpful to cleanse the room/area of any negative energy. My favorite is Palo Santo! It has such a sweet smell to it.
2. Create a playlist. I typically like to create a playlist that ranges from 10-15 minutes. I usually pick out music that is suitable for meditation or yoga. Get the music started before assuming a comfortable position. Here are a few that are on my YouTube playlist right now:
Spotify or any other music player works! I just like to find music with drumming or meditative music.
3. Find a comfortable position. I like to lay on the ground on my back. You can use a pillow to support your head or use a pillow under your knees. Use a yoga mat to lay on or you can also use blankets.
4. Close your eyes and place both of your hands on your sacral chakra or right below your naval. You can also place your hands on whatever chakra that you like to, but I typically start by placing my hands below my naval because it helps with guiding my breath.
5. Bring your attention to your breath and inner world. As you close your eyes and begin to relax into your body, feel the ground support you, and start to become aware of your breath. Begin to focus your attention on your body and how your body feels as you bring in each breath
6. Focus on deep breathing for 10-15 minutes. As you ease into your body and listen to the music, begin to practice breathing deeply into your belly. If your hands are on your sacral chakra, feel your breath enter that charka. Feel your belly rise and the sacral chakra activating.
I invite you inhale deeply and visualize bringing in bright healing energy, holding in your body for a second or two, exhale and release, visualizing a black smoke representative of tension, stress, or toxins. This breathwork exercise is to help clear out any tension in the body.
7. Let the music guide you. As you continue breathing deeply into your body, imagine that each breath is bringing in healing energy. If your breathing pattern changes a little bit, do not stress about it. Let any expectations go and just focus on the music and your breath.
8. Let Go. With each exhale, imagine that you get getting rid of any thoughts or emotions that your body might be holding onto. Each out breath is a chance to let go even more.
9. Come back to your body. As the music ends, take your time coming back to your body. As you come back, just pay attention to how you are feeling. Are you feeling different from before? Do you feel lighter? Did any emotions come up for you? Just simply observe any noticeable shifts. When you feel like you are back in your body, slowly open your eyes and sit up. Remember to take it slow!
10. Treat yourself! Now it is time to replenish your body, mind, and soul even more by feeding it something healthy. Indulge with kombucha, a fruit smoothie, tea or have a small snack such as fruit or a granola bar – something that is grounding and nourishing.
Breathwork can produce different physical symptoms for different people. If you begin to feel a tingling feeling in your body or if you become dizzy, do not be alarmed, that is normal – simply just slow your breath down and relax. This is about relaxing, not producing a cathartic experience so experiment in a way that makes you comfortable.