The Power of the Breathwork

We often take the simple act of breathing for granted. Yet conscious breathwork is one of the most powerful tools we have for reducing stress, releasing physical and emotional tension, and cultivating a sense of calm presence. By focusing on and controlling the breath, we can hack into the body’s natural relaxation response and positively influence our mental and physiological state.


The Importance of Breathwork

When we experience stress or anxiety, our breathing patterns change. Breaths become shallow and rapid as the body’s fight-or-flight response kicks in. This restricted breathing reinforces feelings of tension by limiting the amount of oxygen taken in. It creates a vicious cycle of physical stress fueling mental stress and vice versa.

Conscious breathwork helps break this cycle. By slowing down and deepening the breath, we can counteract the physiological effects of the stress response. This triggers the relaxation response – a state of deep rest that lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate, and reduces muscle tension. The mind also benefits, as slower breathing has been shown to increase focus, emotional regulation, and feelings of groundedness.


Breathwork Techniques for Releasing Tension

There are many different breathwork techniques that can be used to relieve tension and anxiety. Here are a few to try:


Abdominal/Belly Breathing

This foundational technique focuses on breathing deeply into the abdomen rather than shallowly into the chest. Place one hand on your belly and inhale slowly through the nose, allowing your abdomen to expand. Exhale slowly through pursed lips, feeling your belly deflate. Aim for 6-10 slow, deep belly breaths per minute.


4-7-8 Breathing 


This regulates the breath with a specific count during the inhale, pause, and exhale. Inhale for a count of 4, hold for 7, then exhale for 8 counts, pushing all air out. Repeat for 4 breath cycles.


Alternate Nostril Breathing

This balancing pranayama practice enhances focus and equanimity. Use your thumb to close off your right nostril and inhale through the left. Then close the left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right. Inhale right, exhale left, moving slowly between nostrils.


Body Scans and Tension Release

As you breathe diaphragmatically, mentally scan your body for areas of physical stress or muscle tension. Visualize your breath reaching and releasing those areas with each exhale.

Breathwork allows us to access our innate ability to enter a state of physiological relaxation and clear our minds. With regular practice of these simple techniques, we can retrain our breathing patterns and release pent-up stress and tension from the body and mind.


Aromatherapy and Breathing

Our aromatherapy inhalers are an excellent way to support breathing. Depending upon your needs, there are inhalers formulated for a variety of uses. You can find them here: