Each morning before I begin my Yoga practice I sit for a few minutes to ground myself and listen in silence to what my breath, my thoughts and my body is telling me.

The power of this practice has benefitted me in so many ways throughout my life.  In those moments when you feel your focus and your stress start to spin out of control … pause and take a few minutes to close your eyes and just breathe.

This week I wanted to share some of this great interview with Ashley Neese on how to seduce stress fast using the breath.

 Reduce Stress fast with breathwork

Ashley Neese, a holistic practitioner out of California, describes breathwork as a deeper kind of self-care, one that can “help you move through blocks you can’t see.” Slow, intentioned, mindful breathing is a tool that can be used “any time, any place,” it helps ground the nervous system, lower stress and anxiety—and ultimately they report feeling a stronger connection to their bodies.

What is breathwork all about?

Breathwork is a general term for a range of methods that–when practiced with awareness–have a host of potential emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual benefits. In essence, it’s breathing practiced with mindfulness. Like yoga or meditation, there are many forms of breathwork and they all have their own approaches for using the breath as a catalyst for change.

The breath is the foundation of every mindfulness practice. It’s a tool that’s always with us; we can access it any time for calm, balance, and presence of mind. Developing a relationship with the breath is all about learning to inhabit your body, establish new pathways in your brain, and cultivate emotional and relational intelligence.

Who is it for, and what does a typical session look like?

Anybody regardless of age, ability and location can utilize breathwork.  Breathwork is also for anyone with a desire to integrate their body and mind, attain deeper self-awareness, elevate their innate capacity to heal, or increase their overall health and spiritual well-being.

During sessions, clients feel their nervous system slowing down and gain a tangible sense of dropping into their bodies (often in the first moments). They learn to distinguish the somatic markers of when their nervous system is activated and when it is regulated. They also learn to discharge energy in a safe way, experience awakenings in their intuition, and clarity on their next steps.

What are the benefits of breathwork

There are a multitude of benefits with consistent practice. From getting a better night’s sleep, to reducing anxiety, to recovering from loss, to upgrading emotional intelligence and for everyday situations, such as grounding your energy at work and lowering anxiety.

For some people, focusing on breathing can have the opposite effect, and actually create anxiety?

If bringing awareness to the breath creates anxiety, it’s often connected to a dysregulated nervous system, which, in turn, has a major impact on the breath.

If you become more anxious with certain breathwork practices, it’s a great opportunity to slow down and investigate what’s coming up for you. It’s also important for you to assess if that breathwork practice is serving you in that moment, and not push your body past its limit.

Have a healthy week

Dr Pia