Guided Breathwork for the Beginner
Breathwork is an important practice and a key piece to reminding your body it is now safe. Why? When you consciously breathe, it accesses your parasympathetic nervous system. This is your “rest and digest” system, and helps to deactivate your fight or flight (sympathetic) response. We are all so overwhelmed by our to do lists, relationships, and even our time using screens. Our body can’t recover from past pain, let alone process the million different demands we encounter in a day. Our body goes into sensory overload because of the stress, and needs to be reminded there is no “actual” threat or danger present.
There are so many different breathing methods available. I particularly like the “box breath” method. Why? Because I appreciate the visual. You will notice in my meditation that I visualize a box to breathe with. This helps to keep me focused when my mind begins to drift. (Box breathing was actually created by Navy Seal commander Mark Divine in 1987). I also suggest placing one hand on your belly. Most of us breathe shallow through our chest cavity alone. It is important to teach our body to breathe from our belly. A hand on your belly will remind you to fill air here, and release (entirely) all the air from here. I also prefer breathing in and out of my nose. It is up to you whether this (or your mouth) is more efficient for your practice.
Stress is a major contributor to illness. We cannot rid our lives of stress, however we can begin to efficiently manage it. This is why breathwork is so powerful. Benefits of a breath practice include:
a reduction of anxiety
an increase in clarity and focus
elevation of mood
stimulation of blood flow
promotion of proper digestion
preventative disease/illness measure
create better sleep patterns
If you are ready to give breathwork a try and aren’t sure where to start, I created this guided meditation for you. This is the same process I use everyday, and am living the benefits of the practice.
Click HERE to listen.
When you create the practice, it allows you to fall back on it when you need it most. I am so thankful now that I have this tool to use, as I catch myself leaning into in when I am alone in the bathroom and in need for a check in, when I am waiting in my children’s school pick up line and need a reset, when I am late getting dinner on the table and my entire family is fussy, before I have a tough discussion with my husband, or have a big presentation for work to make. It is available anytime you need it. The key is being intentional about the work when you don’t “need” it, so it is there to fall back on when you do.
I suggest doing the meditation once a day, everyday, for 30 days to create the habit. If you forget, start over. If you fall off, begin again. You aren’t failing, so there is no room for judgement. We are all healing, and taking it a day at a time. Remember, there is no “perfect” way to do this. Sometimes I have to put on a show for my oldest daughter (while baby naps) so I can get my meditation in, and that is okay. I do this now with guilt, because it is crucial for me and my healing.
If you use this, let me know how it goes. Also, please share with your friends. I would also love to hear from you on social media. Tag me if you find this meditation helpful so I can share it with our healing community!
Yours in healing,