The benefits of breathwork are many. In fact, the way in which you breathe affects every part of your body, which means that there are nearly limitless benefits of healthy breathing.
In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, we view the breath as your most immediate source of energy (Qi). Each moment, you have a choice about how you relate to that energy.
Most of us tend to not pay close attention to breathing. After all, breathing occurs involuntarily. However, just because you don’t need to think about breathing, doesn’t mean that you will automatically take full advantage of each and every breath. In fact, without paying attention, humans sometimes use their breath in ways that make them more stressed out and anxious.
On the other hand, intentional breathwork exercises can greatly enhance many aspects of your being. In this article, we’ll share five core benefits that breathwork offers.
1. Increases Energy
Doesn’t everyone want more energy?
By utilizing the right breathwork exercises, you can infuse your body and mind with an abundance of energy. This can help you get through a long day or stay focused when fatigue starts to kick in.
Certain breathing exercises focus on activating latent stores of Qi in various parts of your body. In other words, by simply using your breath, you can tap into the energy that is already waiting for you to activate it.
In addition, you can also use certain breathing exercises to increase the efficiency of the energy you use.
For example, a lot of people expend energy unnecessarily through various emotional or physical states. By using intentional breathwork practices, you can eliminate ‘wasteful’ uses and increase the positive experiences that energy can bring.
2. Reduces Stress
We all enjoy experiencing boosts of energy, but stress is also something we can all relate to. Whether it’s caused by work, relationships, or uncertainty, we all encounter stimuli that can trigger stress in our bodies.
Releasing stress is one of the key benefits of breathwork. In fact, breathwork is so powerful that you can often completely transform stress into peace within a few minutes with the right exercises.
The reason breathwork is so effective is pretty simple. Your breath is closely connected with your central nervous system. When you feel stressed out, your body’s sympathetic nervous system becomes activated, which causes you to take quick, shallow breaths.
Luckily, you can reverse the causal relationship between your breath and your nervous system…
When you make a conscious decision to use slow, deep breathing exercises, you can quickly transform from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic nervous system state. When this happens, stress is released and inner peace takes hold.
3. Improves Digestion
Activating the parasympathetic nervous system does more than release stress. It also helps improve your digestion.
When you activate your sympathetic nervous system your body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode. When your sympathetic nervous system is activated, your body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This means that your energy becomes redirected to your immediate survival needs. In prehistoric times, this allowed humans to become courageous when the world was threatening. In modern life, it typically just makes us grip the steering wheel extra tight when we’re sitting in traffic, or be emotionally reactive instead of staying calm and centered.
Needless to say, these behaviors don’t really help us. In fact, they prevent us from using our energy for important bodily processes, such as digestion. When you’re able to channel your energy away from stress and focus it internally, your digestive system works more effectively. Additionally, several different breathing techniques can help massage the internal digestive organs.
4. Helps With Sleep
Just as breathing can be used to activate wakefulness during the day, it can also be used to calm your mind at night.
Certain breathwork exercises provide wonderful relaxation benefits more conducive to sleep.
Breathwork exercises for sleep generally focus on signaling the mind to slow down and let go. Instead of staying caught in cycles of thinking, breathing can help you quiet your inner voice. This allows you to drift off into a deep, nourishing, and healing sleep.
5. Increases Emotional Balance
The benefits of breathwork also help your body achieve greater levels of emotional balance.
When you experience more energy, less stress, greater nourishment, and better sleep, the natural result is emotional balance. Just by taking these simple steps, you can experience an abundance of emotional energy entering your life.
Another element of breathwork’s effectiveness is its ability to help you harness the power of intention. Instead of getting stuck in a reactive state, you can use certain breathwork exercises to gain greater awareness and control over your emotional experiences. This allows you to process adversity and compost old emotions so they don’t bring you down.
When you have the right tools, it’s easier to make sense of life’s uncertainties and frustrations. That doesn’t mean that there won’t still be challenges. Rather, it means you’ll be able to quickly work through those challenges and return to a state of emotional balance.
If you’re interested in learning more about breathwork exercises, be sure to check out our upcoming online course.
The Breathwork Online Course
At Holden QiGong, we’re getting ready to offer a special Breathwork Online Course taught by master Qi Gong teacher, Lee Holden.
In this course, students will learn a variety of powerful breathwork exercises to cultivate all of the important qualities we discussed here and many more. By working with the breath, you can access a deep sense of flow and harmony, both within yourself and with the world around you.
This course will take place over four weekends. Because it’s an ‘online course,’ you can enjoy all of the lessons from the comfort of your own home. Not to mention, you’ll have access to the replay so you can go back and enjoy the material as often as you would like.
One of the great things about breathwork is that it’s accessible to anyone. Whether you’re brand new to breathwork, or a seasoned Qi Gong teacher, The Breathwork Online Course will empower you with a wonderful set of tools for health and wellbeing. Click on the banner below to register and discover more about the healing benefits of breathwork.