From our first breath to our last breath on earth, breathing is necessary for life.

Most people take breathing for granted, but there is much more behind breathing.

Our breathwork is one of the most natural and powerful tools we can use to support our body, mind, and soul.

Yes, breathwork is very trendy these days, but breathwork is not new; people have been practicing breathwork for thousands of years, and it has roots in yoga practice and tai chi.

I was introduced to breathwork during my yoga training, and I can tell you it does make a difference in my mental, physical and emotional well-being. I want to share specific types of breathwork that I use throughout my day.

Breathwork therapy can be used in almost any situation from reducing anxiety from a stressful situation to increasing energy, signaling the body to prepare for sleep,  and breathing through the pain of childbirth (think about the importance of breathwork in childbirth); the possibilities are endless. During our day, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by stress and feel out of control, but when you focus on breathing, you allow your body the chance to reset and recover from the adverse side effects of stress.

The basic idea of breathwork is to release toxins and stress when you breathe out and nourish your mind and body when you breathe in.

Breathwork techniques can be a simple, quick, and free way to destress when life throws you a curveball. Have you ever observed that when you’re anxious, terrified, or disturbed, 
your breathing becomes faster and shallower?
Think of the top five stressors:
Death of a loved one
Divorce
Moving
Major illness or injury
Job loss
But breathwork also can be used in daily stressors:
The challenges of day-to-day living encompass both predictable and unpredictable challenges, such as caring for a child or commuting between work and home, malfunctioning home appliances, an unexpected work deadline, a traffic jam, bills piling up, world events, the list is endless.
When you feel threatened, your nervous system releases a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. But when the stress response keeps firing, it could put your health at serious risk day after day.

The Physical health benefits of breathwork may include:

In addition to affecting your central nervous system, breathing exercises may also impact your respiratory system. Breathwork helps put the brakes on acute stress response and diverts the health problems associated with chronic stress. In addition, by eliciting the body’s relaxation response, deep abdominal breathing helps reduce blood pressure and much more.

Lower or balances blood pressure
More time in deep sleep
Oxygenates bloodstream
Stronger respiratory function
Strengthens immune system
Release of stress hormones from your body

The Emotional benefits may include:

Less anxiety
Better mental focus
Calms emotions
Better outlook on life
Contentment and joy

As with any other ability, it must be honed by everyday practice. Set aside five minutes day to practice breathwork.

HOW TO PERFORM BREATHWORK

To begin any breathing technique, I teach my students to inhale deep through their nose and, exhale deeply through their mouth, now cough. Now you are ready to choose a suitable technique for you and your situation.
Beginner Breathing Technique
• Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
• Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
• Take a deep, slow breath in through the nose, allowing it to fill your belly, not your chest. Hold it here for three to four counts.
• Keep your jaw relaxed with lips slightly pursed as you exhale slowly through the mouth. You should feel the hand on your belly dip until you’ve pushed all the air out. Continue this 10 times. Reflect on how you feel before and after this exercise.
Practice this technique every day.

To Reduce Stress: 

Breathing techniques can help you relax if you’re feeling anxious or give you energy or help you sleep.

Taking deep breaths can help alleviate these symptoms before they begin, or even in the middle of high-stress situation.

Breathwork aids in slowing down and calming down the body. It calms the nervous system, lowers the pulse rate, and brings awareness to the present moment. This breathwork technique is excellent when feeling overwhelmed, nervous, irritated, or triggered. side benefit of this practice is that it helps the body learn to take in less stress and release stored energy and thoughts. 
The Four/Five/Six:
Next time you find yourself stressed out, try this breathing technique; it reduces my stress every time.
Take a deep breath through your nose for a slow count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of five as you do an internal scan of your body, note where you feel anxious or upset, and gather all of that negative energy.
Slowly exhale to a count of six as you release all of your negative energy and thoughts through your exhalation. 
Repeat this breathwork until you feel your negative energy melt away.
To Increase Energy:
Square Breathing or the Four/Four/Four/Four:
This breathwork is also known as Square breathing or 4-4-4-4 breath. This breathwork technique slows the heart rate and deepens concentration. It heightens efficiency and performance, as well as provides stress relief. It’s best to use it in the morning to wake up, in the middle of the day if sleepy, or before a big project or meeting that requires your focus.
Let all of the air out of your chest and hold your breath for seconds. Then breathe through your nose for seconds, 
hold your breath for seconds, and exhale out of your nose for seconds. 
Take few minutes to do this cycle again and again until you feel the effects.
The Warrior Breath
I use this breathwork before I start a project, or a long run.
Inhale and exhale with the same intensity 21 times. This technique will oxygenate your bloodstream and prepare you to meet the challenges ahead. A word of caution, work up to the 21 times; begin with six inhalations and exhalations.
To Decompress and Relax:
Belly Breathing
Sit comfortably in a chair or lie down. Place one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest. Visualize your breath filling up your body as you breathe. When you inhale, your tummy and chest should both expand. Your chest relaxes as you exhale, and your navel pushes back into your spine. Deep breathing like this tells your body to unwind.
For Balance and Harmony:
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Begin by pressing your right thumb on your right nose. Inhale through your left nostril exclusively, then hold your breath while you flip sides. As you exhale through the right nostril, release your right thumb and apply pressure to the left nostril with your right index finger. After a brief pause, take another big breath in and repeat the process. This type of breathing method promotes mental and physical harmony.
Are there dangers in breathwork?

More challenging techniques may lead to hyperventilating if you’re new to breathwork.

Please use caution if you feel the following symptoms:

Dizziness
Your hands, arms, feet, or legs are tingling
Irregular heartbeat is a condition in which the heartbeat is irregular
Spasms of the muscles
Vision changes as a result of a lack of oxygen

People who practice breathwork daily say they have more mental clarity, feel more connected to their minds and bodies, and feel prepared for whatever challenges they face.

Become a master of your breath; become a master of your emotions.