Without even realizing it, children, adults, and even some animals use breathwork practices to transform energy within the body.
Long exhales often mark the release of strong emotions such as anger or sadness, and quick inhales typically accompany feelings of excitement or anticipation. Numerous other examples of involuntary breathing patterns serve a clear and important purpose within the body.
These instinctual breathing patterns aren’t a coincidence. Intuitively, your body knows that your breath plays an important role in transforming emotions and regulating your energy system. In fact, breathing exercises are one of the most potent tools available for integrating your mind and body.
In this blog, you’ll learn a brief yet powerful breathing exercise designed to help boost your vitality and release stress. But first, let’s address the fundamental principles underlying the transformative benefits of breathwork.
The Bridge Between Mind and Body
Most functions within your body are either voluntary or involuntary. For example, walking, picking up a plate, and brushing your teeth are all voluntary actions. They’re all activities that you decide to do with your conscious mind.
Involuntary functions are those that are typically beyond the control of your conscious mind. For example, you can’t decide to digest your food or make your heartbeat. These are functions that happen involuntarily without you needing to think about them.
Breathing is unique because it can occur voluntarily or involuntarily. Most of the time, breathing happens involuntarily without paying attention to your inhalation or exhalation. However, you can easily decide how you want to breathe at any moment.
Breathing plays a significant role in many aspects of your energy system. By simply changing your breathing patterns, you can speed up your heart rate, slow it down, and even shift your entire nervous system. This is why the breath is referred to as “the bridge between mind and body.” It allows you to use your conscious mind to directly impact the state of your physical body.
Using Breathwork Practices to Rebalance Your Nervous System
Breathwork has many benefits, and one of these is its ability to shift your nervous system from a sympathetic state into a parasympathetic state,
Your sympathetic nervous system is often referred to as “fight or flight.” It’s responsible for responding to dangerous situations and keeping you safe against external threats. Needless to say, your sympathetic nervous system is an important element for survival.
While your sympathetic nervousness has an important role, it’s often too reactive in everyday life. Unfortunately, your sympathetic nervous system can’t distinguish between a truly life-threatening situation, such as a charging tiger, and a merely annoying situation, such as a long line at the grocery store.
In both circumstances, your sympathetic nervous system will likely kick into high gear, increasing tension, tightness, and stress. Over time, this drains your energy system, leading to tiredness and fatigue.
To avoid the pitfalls of an overactive sympathetic nervous system, it’s important to understand how to shift into a parasympathetic state. When you’re in a parasympathetic state, you feel relaxed, calm, and at ease. And because tension and tightness aren’t draining your energy, you’ll have more energy freed up to do the things you love.
So, how does this relate to breathwork?
When you do specific breathwork practices, you can shift from a sympathetic state to a parasympathetic state. In other words, breathwork practices allow you to let go of stress and tension so you can experience more energy and vitality in everyday life.
Below, we’ve included a brief Qi Gong breathing routine that puts theory into practice.
3-Minute Breathing Exercise to Boost Your Vitality and Let Go of Stress
Learn More Breathing Practices to Cultivate Health and Vitality Throughout Your Body and Mind
If you want to learn more Qi Gong breathwork practices designed to boost your energy, release stress, and cultivate a deep sense of flow, be sure to check out The Breathwork Online Course.
In this immersive course, master Qi Gong teacher Lee Holden will dive deep into the principles and practice of Breathwork. In addition to learning powerful practices for releasing stress and boosting your energy, you’ll also discover how not to breathe.
This is an online learning experience that kicks off on January 29th, so you can enjoy Lee’s training from the comfort of your home. Click on the banner below to learn more about how breathwork can empower you to feel your best.