Breathwork refers to any type of breathing exercises or techniques. In yoga, we refer to it as Pranayama.
The Sanskrit word Pranayama comes from Prana (life energy) and Ayama (to extend, draw out). The practice of Pranayama dates back to ancient India and the origins of yoga, said to be around sixth and fifth centuries BCE.
Pranayama is the fourth of Patanjali’s 8 limb path of yoga following the Yamas, Niyamas and Asana. It prepares the mind and body for the next four limbs of yoga.
When we practice Pranayama the veil is gradually drawn away from the mind. Therefore, it creates space for clarity because the mind becomes ready for deep meditation.
Learning how to work with the breath is not just fundamental for your spiritual practice, but also it has been proved that improves mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
There are many forms of breathwork therapy that involve breathing in a conscious and systematic way, helping to:
- Aid positive self-development
- Boost immunity
- Process emotions, heal emotional pain and trauma
- Develop life skills, professional and personal relationships
- Develop or increase self-awareness
- Increase confidence, self-image, and self-esteem
- Increase joy and happiness
- Overcome addictions
- Reduce stress and anxiety levels
- Release negative thoughts
- Anger issues
- Chronic pain
- Emotional effects of illness
- Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Pranayama exercises help us to clear physical and emotional blockages in the body so that the breath, and so prana (life force), can flow freely.
Finally, it is a powerful tool to unlock energies within the body and making your vibrations high.