Many benefits can be derived from breathwork, and you may not have any clinical issues to begin with. Depending on the method you practice, you can benefit from gentle or vigorous exercises. Practices like gentle belly breathing can help you calm your body and mind. Several breathing techniques can help you cope with stressful situations and improve your self-esteem. However, if you’re unfamiliar with them, read on to learn how to begin your own breathwork routine.
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The benefits of breathwork are numerous, and the practice is free and easy to perform. Most people have some experience with meditation or mindfulness, and it is not necessary to be particularly skilled in either. The basic exercise is simply to focus on your breathing and experience new feelings. The techniques are also free and simple, so even non-meditating individuals can benefit. In addition to its many therapeutic benefits, breathwork has no known side effects. Those with anxiety or phobias may find it challenging to sit still for long periods of time.
Breathwork is often accompanied by music or a sitter. This type of exercise is known as holotropic breathing. It was developed by Stanislav Grof, MD, PHD, after the LSD drug was banned. It has many of the same benefits as LSD, but without the side effects and legal ramifications. Holotropic breathwork is often practiced along with primal music. Participants are asked to breathe rapidly for up to two hours, often while listening to a CD, drawing mandalas, or discussing a spiritual topic.