Pranayama and Breathwork
Breathing is something we all do naturally, but the way we breathe changes from childhood to adulthood.
Babies and children naturally breathe deeper. When we grow, our breath becomes shorter and shallower. This has a negative impact on us both physically and mentally.
Hence the importance of practicing conscious breathing.
Slow, deep breathing is a very effective method to reduce stress and to facilitate full relaxation. In fact it lessens unwanted thoughts as well as physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety.
By manipulating the breath we can also boost our mood and energy levels, feel balanced and re-centred.
What’s the difference between Breathwork and Pranayama?
Pranayama is the yogic practice of focusing on breath. Prana means vital energy or breath, Yama means control. So Pranayama is the manipulation of the breath and consists of many different breathing techniques aimed to expand, extend, regulate and control the breath.
Breathwork is a recent term to describe all variants of conscious and connected breath-work.
We could say that all Pranayama is Breathwork but not all Breathwork is Pranayama.
In my experience, Breathwork is the first step. It is a powerful tool to support people to experience embodiment and connection to themselves.
Pranayama adds a spiritual component to it and its techniques tend to be more complex.
Both have extraordinary effects on calming the mind, bringing peace and stillness.
I incorporate breathing techniques in my therapy sessions and I will soon offer Pranayama and Breathwork classes as well as retreats…stay tuned!