Breathwork Facts – How a Simple Act of Conscious Breathing Can Help You Heal

breathwork facts

As a big fan of yoga, I was very drawn to the topic of breathwork. 

Both practices focus on the breath and use breath as a technique to release tension from the body. 

I was really intrigued by the topic and really wanted to dig deeper into it. 

Breathwork is about conscious breathing. We breathe every day, all the time, but our breathing is automatic, we don’t pay any attention to it. Our body just does it, as one of the ways to survive. 

Breathing is an essential tool to our everyday survival, as well as our fight or flight response. When we’re stressed, under pressure, overwhelmed with workloads, we might start to take shorter breaths.

This sends a signal to our brain that something is wrong, raising our adrenaline, stress levels and alerting our nervous system, which over a longer period of time causes anxiety and stress. 

When we get to that point, breathwork is the exact type of exercise we need to stop any long-term effects of anxiety. We can take control of our breath through a few breathing exercises, deep, long breaths, sending a signal to our brain that actually, everything is fine and there is no need to fight or run. 

We’re okay. We were just having a moment, a little stress meltdown approaching, but we’ve noticed the reaction and we’re taking back control with our breath. 

What is Breathwork?

Breathwork is about conscious breathing. It’s a set of breathing exercises, changing the usual pattern of our breathing and controlling it through specific sets. Breathwork helps to release tension buried deep inside our mind, body and soul, helping us feel more connected to the body we’re in and to discover our traumas, being able to face and/or release them. 

Through conscious breathing, we actually notice our breath, how we breath, and how essential it is to our existence. It can also help us heal traumas and past experiences that are causing distress within our mind and body. 

Breathwork comes from the pranayama tradition in India, which is also used during yoga

breathwork facts


Benefits of Breathwork

Breathwork offers many benefits and can help you with stagnant energy and the unknown reason why you perhaps get sad, angry, or why certain events trigger you. 

Some of the benefits of breathwork are: 

  • Development of self-awareness
  • Increased energy levels
  • Boost to the immune system
  • Rewiring of the nervous system
  • Increased focus and creativity
  • Strengthened intuition
  • Improved self-love and relationships
  • Oxygenated blood
  • Released toxins
  • Released trauma and emotions
  • Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
  • Improved digestion
  • Opened heart space 
  • Improved sleep quality 
  • Increased joy and presence
  • Reduced chronic pain
  • Reduced stress and anxiety


There are different types of breathwork, each one focusing on a different way of breathing and different goals/objectives. Each technique of breathwork allows you to pinpoint the issues within, through different breathing patterns. 

Breathwork techniques vary on the pace and regularity of breath, whether music or other external stimulus are involved, potion of the body (lying down, sitting, standing), length of the session, people involvement (group session, 1:1) and the end goal of the session. 

If you’ve ever done yoga, you already know about the importance of breath. As yoga is a stress-releasing exercise through the breath and physical element of stretching, breathwork works a bit like that, but without the physical exercise. 

As it’s a technique of stillness where you sit still, quiet and really focus on your breath, it’s almost like meditation – where you focus on just your breath. It allows you to tap into your consciousness. 

This is why it’s such a deep and meaningful exercise and technique because all your concentration and focus is solely on yourself, your mind and your presence. 

Breathwork can help us throughout the day at work, when we need to slow down, take a pause. Rather than stressing about how to reply to an email, we can take a pause, do a few breathing exercises, and get back to it without feeling an anxiety attack coming on.

It’s a highly spiritual practice, and can help with your spiritual awakening journey in many ways. The most common type of breathwork is holotropic breathwork. 

breathwork facts


Holotropic Breathwork 

Holotropic breathwork is one of the most popular breathwork techniques, and helps with rebirth, growth and expansion. This type of breathwork brings us closer to wholeness, connects us with the universe and allows us to be just as we need to be without any external pressures. 

Holo in Greek means “wholeness”. 

Holotropic breathwork is usually performed in a group setting and led by a practitioner. It includes music, and guidance on your breathing from another person to hold and guide you during the experience. 

This technique of breathwork focuses on controlling and quickening your breath. 

Where Did Breathwork Originate

Breathwork comes from the pranayama tradition in India, which is also used during yoga. In ancient cultures, the breath was considered a spirit, a force of its own. It was used in Buddhism, Christianity and Shamanism for centuries as a way of connecting spiritually with the force and energy it brings. 

During the hippy 1960s and groovy 1970s, when the world was a lot more spiritual and was starting to awaken to alternative living, psychedelic drugs and generally becoming more connected spiritually, breathwork was a big contributor at the time. 

It was widely practiced during that time and mostly by those labelled as spiritual hippies, used it as a technique to get closer, to connect and seek answers from the soul within. 

Since the introduction of breathwork in the 60s, it’s been a well-known and widely practiced spiritual technique.

Breathwork Training

If you’d like to become a breathwork teacher, guru, guide, there are plenty of courses and workshops out there to become a practicing breathwork teacher. Alchemy of Breath offer various courses and free sessions as well. 

If you’re looking for a bit of breathwork training to do the breathing yourself, Alchemy of Breath have a selection of videos and free sessions, and there are plenty of tutorials on Youtube as well. 

Breathwork for Healing

Breathwork offers both physical and mental benefits, as it helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, as well as inflammation, supporting with healing of chronic diseases. 

It can also offer healing from traumas, pent-up energy or experiences that we never faced of processed in the right way. Life changes us, people, the events that happen, the words we hear and things we go through all shape us into the people we are today. 

There is a shadow element to each one of us, that stores the negative energies and comes out when we’re triggered by certain events or when someone does/says something. 

Breathwork can also help with shadow work – you can read more about shadow work here

Through breathwork, people experience sensations and feelings they felt ages ago but haven’t addressed. It’s very common to cry and have crying outbursts during breathwork sessions, as the negative energy spruced by years of protection, is finally released. 

The emotions take over, and anything we’ve been suppressing and trying to hide away or not wanting to deal with, are finally released.

This release helps us move on and heal from within. Our mind, body and soul is restored and with it our chakras and we’re ready for new things in life. Going in with a clean slate. 

It’s almost like a rebirth…

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