Breathwork is a type of active meditation during which you intentionally change your breathing patterns to facilitate healing, release energy, and calm your central nervous system. Breathwork allows you to shift your internal state and release emotion.
There are slower, calming breathwork practices like diaphragmatic breathing or the yogic practice of Pranayama, and more active practices like holotropic breathwork or power breathing such as the Wim Hof Method. There are quick breathwork practices that can be done in just a few seconds, or longer sessions guided by a breathwork teacher that utilize a three-part breath to activate the nervous system more deeply. Many people find that breathwork promotes deep relaxation or leaves them feeling energized.
How it Works
In breathwork, we change our breathing patterns in a conscious and systematic way to regulate the nervous system and pump fresh oxygen to our cells. While the link is not yet fully understood, we know our emotional states change the pattern of our breathing. The connection between our breath and our emotions involves areas of the brain including the cerebral cortex, limbic system, medullary and pontine areas. Depending on where and how we breathe, the different techniques and rhythms used in breathwork such as paced inhales and exhales, breathing through the mouth or nose, and maintaining breath influences the way that we feel and think.
One study among vets showed a significant reduction in PTSD after a breathing-based meditation practice. Slow, controlled breathing can even reduce physical pain.
While there is still much to be understood, a growing number of studies show that breathing techniques influence both physiological factors (by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system) and psychological factors (by diverting attention from thoughts). There is evidence that diaphragmatic breathwork decreases cortisol and blood pressure levels. Research has also shown breathwork to be an effective non-pharmacological intervention to reduce anxiety and depression, as well as increase attention. One study among vets showed a significant reduction in PTSD after a breathing-based meditation practice. Slow, controlled breathing can even reduce physical pain.
Breathwork can be a helpful practice if you’re experiencing:
- Physical chronic pain
- PTSD or trauma
- Brain fog
- Feeling stuck or overwhelmed
What Our Instructors Say
"Breathwork motivates trapped energy to move out of you. Together, I will guide you in using your breath as a vehicle for working through and releasing stuck emotions that are blocking you from reaching your full expression of self." –Josephine Edmondson
"Breathwork essentially activates the body's natural healing systems that truly help you move through heavy emotions and reconnect you with your essence. And you get amazing sleep. And you feel better. And you're in a better mood. And…" –Shanila Sattar
Why Members Love It
“This is the first I've felt peace in years. Profound!” –real WellSet user