What's "Breath Work" And How Do You Do It?
by Kiki Athanas
January 16, 2019
Amongst the “woo-woo” trends that are emerging out of literally ancient times…breath work has to be one of my personal favourites. It’s free, simple, and incredibly powerful.
But what even IS this breathy craze hitting the yogic mainstream?!
Well, no need to be a shaman or mushroom forager or forest bather to master this one - it’s all about deepening your breath through a deliberate practice that serves your needs in the moment, and ultimately - your greatest health and happiness potential.
I connected with Scott Davis - a doctor of Eastern Medicine, a movement therapist, yoga teacher, health educator, and most of all, an incredible human being who is deeply committed to helping you feel better - to learn more about the truly transformational practice that is “breath work”.
Breath work refers to a deliberate practice, where you engage with your breath and work with specific techniques depending on your needs (i.e. more energy, calming, reducing anxiety, recovery, etc.). Whereas deep breathing could be one of those techniques, but also you'll find that you will breath deeper more naturally when you have a regular breath work practice.
Not unlike a meditation practice where you have more structured time to sit and meditate, but throughout the day, you mind apply Mindfulness to whatever you're doing, thereby extending the effect of your meditation.
How can the beginner start to engage in meaningful breath work?
Take 5 minutes a day to practice breath awareness.
Could be a "Breath-Break" in the middle of the day, or as part of your evening routine before bed. Find a comfortable position free of distraction and notice your breath. If you lose your focus, gently bring your attention back to your breath.
Notice the 4 phases of your breath: 1. The inhale, 2. The natural pause at the top of the inhale, 3. The exhale, and 4. The natural pause at the bottom of the exhale.
Notice where you breath most easily: your belly or chest? Notice the quality of the breath. Is it shallow or deep?
Any other tips for deepening the effectiveness of a breath-work practice?
Set reminders on your phone, to practice your breath awareness exercise daily for at least 21 days.
This will create a mindful breathing habit and start become a tool you can call on to shift your state when needed and create more resourcefulness.
So, who’s with me?! I’m starting my own 21-Day Breath Break Program starting soon and I’d love for you to join me! Follow me on Instagram and send me a DM if you’d like to be added to our accountability group <3