We spend most of our time in our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). But we have another nervous system called the parasympathetic system (rest and digestion), and we can activate that through breathwork. The sympathetic nervous system makes most people swim in cortisol.
Breathwork is a rapid activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers cortisol levels.
Breathwork also stimulates the vagus nerve, which sends a message to the brain to relax. The increase in oxygen to the brain creates a euphoric feeling. It reduces anxiety and flushes the lymphatic system. It also feels great on days when I’m tired, and when I do breathwork, I get the energy that I can’t really describe.
You can go weeks without food and days without water. But no more than a few minutes without breath. Learning to access and work with your breath is a powerful tool for connecting the mind and body and mastering your inner world to better exist in your external.
My future fantasy holds that breathwork is ‘normal’ in offices, schools, gyms, and public parks.
How do you do breath work?
Breathe deeply from the abdomen.
Hold your breath for 5 seconds.
Let go, of course.
Repeat 5-10 times.
It is normal to feel dizzy at first. These are just your cells adapting to the oxygen.