Many of us have had to live through difficult situations which have been so intensely collapsed and we want to pause and start again.
What can I do?; when is this going to finish?; I want to get out of here!; why didn't I pay attention?; why am I like this; how could this happen to me; these are some of the questions we ask ourselves when we live on “autopilot”.
When we think that life is getting extremely difficult, some of us start a meditation practice to calm the intensity of our thoughts.
But “what if the meditation technique is not enough?” or you haven’t found this state of calm or mindfulness in your daily life.
For many people who struggle to sit down and focus on their thoughts, practicing “Breathwork” is becoming a way to reach a calm and awaken consciousness.
If you’re wondering whether to choose one or the other (or even practice both), look at this article:
The art of breathing
Breathing is important in all forms of meditation. “Breathwork” and “Meditation” are two practices that have been used for decades.
They are two kinds of relaxation but it doesn’t mean that these two are the same breathing techniques.
“Breathwork” is an active practice that involves being focused on the breath and using specific techniques to affect the autonomic nervous system and modify the substance of oxygen we inhale or the quantity of carbon dioxide we exhale.
These exercises help to promote emotional healing, physical relaxation and mental clarity. Inspire people to dive into their inner energy and embrace their traumas as a path of transformation.
“Meditation” is a more passive mindfulness practice, and it focuses on observing one's thoughts without judgment or attachment. This technique is about living the present-moment awareness and seeks to create a more stable and focused mind.
Many people turn to it as a way to calm their minds, relieve stress, and improve their mental well-being.
You may have already tried meditating several times and maybe it doesn't work for you. Your mind is distracted, you get bored, you feel it's too complicated, you get nervous and give up.
Meditation requires concentration and being calm, and it can be frustrating for you and others. If this sounds familiar to you then “Breathwork” is a simple and accessible route that will give you the benefits of a calmer and more peaceful life.
Can I use 'breathwork' as a meditation?
Stanford University published a study comparing various breathing techniques to traditional meditation. Researchers found that “Breathwork”, specifically, was the most effective to improve one's physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health.
A full sequence of this different way of meditation requires the use of the chest, belly, back, and mind. To guide the attention of meditation, tune into your body when you practice this technique.
There are many types of “Breathwork”:
- Holotropic Breathwork.
- Shamanic Breathwork.
- Transformational Breathwork.
- Clarity Breathwork.
- Rebirthing Breathwork.
- Wim Hof.
Many people turn to breathwork for instant stress relief, as it helps relax our autonomic nervous system and helps us get out of a ‘fight-or-flight’ mindset.
“Breathwork” has many benefits but also includes some risks. It's better if you talk with a doctor, therapist or psychologist before starting any of these, especially if you have a medical condition or you are taking remedies that may be affected by the practice.
It is well known that getting new healthy habits can be difficult to do, but something as accessible as a short breathing practice is a good start.
Staying present with mindfulness
“Mindfulness Meditation” is just the practice of being focused and aware of the present moment.
It’s a way to take attention to your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations to increase your perception of yourself and the world around you.
You can do it in many different ways, including yoga, mandala drawing, moving meditation, or just sitting and focusing on your breath.
Mindfulness Meditation has many benefits like reducing stress and anxiety and changing the mood. It also has positive effects on physical health like increasing immunity and decreasing inflammation.
Regular practice can help you become more self-aware, reduce mental chaos, improve focus and concentration skills, increase creativity, improve sleep quality, reduce symptoms of depression, and even help with physical pain management.
No matter how long you meditate, it will benefit your overall well-being if you practice regularly.
If you find practicing Mindfulness Meditation difficult, trying some “Breathwork” techniques can be a great way to adopt a much more balanced lifestyle.
Which one should I use?
“Breathwork” and “Mindfulness Meditation” is a personal experience in which individuals benefit from a deeper connection to their emotional and physical state.
Both of them offer amazing benefits, so maybe you find it difficult to pick which one you want to start practicing.
Here are some things you should read before choosing between breathwork vs. meditation.
- How easy it is good for you to start.
- What you're hoping to gain from these practices.
- How much time will you take to practice and for how long.
- How easy it will be to access.
- What are your health conditions?
Both are wonderful mindfulness practices but they both definitely have their differences.
Breathwork is ideal for those who are looking to progress their breathing while Mindfulness Meditation is great to live in the present moment.
Controlling the breath is mental training in developing your skills of concentration, acceptance, tolerance, persistence and compassion.
The more you train, the stronger you get. Start focusing on your breath.