Breathwork is gaining more popularity all over the world now. But how do you even get started? You might have heard of the term breathwork somewhere and maybe know that it has something to do with the breath and enhancing your well-being. Then probably you did some research and ended up with even more questions. At least it was like that for me when I started with breathwork. Breathwork is everything related to the breath, working with the breath or just breath awareness. There are so many different styles of breathing techniques, schools and teachers. So which one is right for you? Took me a while to figure that out as well.
Pranayama – the origin of breathwork
Firstly, I would like to start introducing breathwork to you by introducing you to pranayama. Pranayama is the union of the body and the spirit through breathing techniques and an important part of the yogic teachings. There are more than 150 pranayama breathing techniques and one of the main purposes of pranayama was preparing the yogi for meditation. But pranayama is so much more than just inhaling air. With every breath you take you not only inhale oxygen but also prana, the life force energy. Therefore, breathing is life. Most, if not all, breathing techniques that I know are definitely derived from pranayama. Pranayama was a huge part of my yoga teacher training and is a part of every yoga schedule. There are some pranayama courses available as a continuing education for yoga teachers as well. Read more about breathwork vs. pranayama here.
First step – breath awareness
But let’s come back to breathwork, and how to get started. If you are not familiar with any breathing exercises at all I would advise you to just try a breath awareness meditation yourself. Sit down in a quiet and comfortable place for just a few minutes and observe your breath. Just breathe normally and pay attention to where your breath is going. Are you breathing shallow into your chest or deep into your abdomen? Do you feel any restrictions? How do you feel after doing this for a few minutes?
Try out different styles
So the next thing you might wanna do is just give it a try with an experienced teacher. Many breathworkers offer regular classes where you can just pop in and try their style. Besides pranayama there are breathwork techniques like transformative breath, conscious connected breathing, holotropic breathing and rebirthing to name a few. Besides that, many breathwork coaches just develop their own styles and schedules. Just try a few classes and check out for yourself if you like the style and resonate with the teacher.
The kind of breathwork I teach
I come from a yogic background what you probably guessed after reading the first paragraph. The idea of the breath being so much more than “just” taking in oxygen resonates so much with me. Besides being a yoga teacher I’m also a reiki master and I strongly believe in the universal life force (prana). So I use a lot of pranayama breathing techniques and mix them with some modern breathwork influences and exercises. I customize all my sessions to your individual needs or the group/company I’m working with. There is no “one breath fits all”. You can always schedule a free trial session with with me if you’re interested in learning more about breathwork. On my Instagram you can find breathing exercises and some more insights into breathwork.