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The Healing Power Of Breath

Using breathwork as a tool to access our inner wisdom

I understand that "breath" sounds like a simple concept. We all breathe, we don’t need to pay attention to it, it just happens naturally, right? But, the breathing that I’m talking about here is conscious breathing. I’m not referring to the fact of automatically breathing without being aware of it, but intentionally breathing.

Most of us are not breathing in an optimal level. We might be engaging in breathing patterns that can actually cause us damage or just not help us thrive. Our bodies are meant to engage in a constant process of natural detox. We are meant to release all the substances that are not serving us. When we have unhelpful breathing patterns, we might not be setting up our body for success in the detox.

I invite you to notice your breath right now, connect with it. How does it feel? Is it easily flowing? Is it tight? Can you feel your breath in your belly? Or in your chest? Are you breathing through your mouth or through your nose?

Whatever you are noticing is perfectly fine. There’s no need to judge. We are here to learn and grow together and embrace whatever we are feeling with love, curiosity and compassion.

What is breathwork?

Breathwork or pranayama (I’ll be referring to both indistinctly throughout the post) is a practise that engages in conscious or intentional breathing, that controls the breath. If we take the word pranayama from Sanskrit: “prana” means life force, vital energy or breath and “ayama” means control. So, it's basically the control of breath, the expansion of life energy in our bodies.

It’s interesting to see how breathwork seems quite modern or recent while is an ancient practise. I’m currently studying for my yoga teacher training and I find this subject fascinating because I keep seeing how much of our knowledge was born hundreds and hundreds of years ago! Things that are coming up now are deeply rooted in ancient practises.

The somatic experience of breath

One of the things that I love about pranayama or breathwork is that it connects us to our physical bodies. We live in a society that make us to disconnect from that physicality. Disassociation becomes an adaptive response that we adopt in order to survive. However, our bodies are extremely important when it