Last week we showed you who could benefit most from taking up breathwork. Now it’s time to get down to the meat of the matter–what will you be doing in your breathwork circle?
Most studios will provide at least a mat for offered meditation, or you can bring supplies of your own. Be sure to check what they will have for you, as different places have different practices. In general, for breathwork meditiation in class or at home, you’ll want the following items:
- Mat, cushion, or comfortable spot
- Loose, comfortable clothes
- Music or nature sounds
- Optional: Eye mask
- Optional: Towel and Water
Depending on the class you take, the instructor may begin by sharing some updates from the studio or last class, and may also give an introductory lesson for beginners.
Once you begin, you will either stay seated or lay down and breathe in sync as your instructor guides you and your classmates through different breathing and mental exercises. You will inhale and exhale through each nostril individually and through your mouth.
You should start to feel the stress and tension of your daily grind start to melt away the longer you meditate this way. Some people describe the resulting focus as both euphoric and clear, allowing you much better insight into your body functions and the way you live your life. Some even claim to experience visions of their past lives. In the original sanskrit, the word pranayama (which is one of the names for breathwork) means to extend your spirit with your breath. It’s helpful to remember this imagery as you practice. You’re manipulating your soul and true self–not just your lungs.
After class you should feel a little tingly, peaceful, and rejuvenated. The increase of oxygen in your brain should make you feel invigorated and positive. You’ll probably notice that your body feels great too–many practitioners report that their recurring aches and pains retreat after beginning their breathwork practice.
It’s important to check back in with your breath as often as you can to continue reaping the many benefits. Done often and deeply, breathwork can eliminate stress, muscle pain and aches, and give you insight into who you really are. Stay tuned with us to learn more about the history of breath work and it’s modernization!