What is Breathwork and Why Would I Want to Do It?
Breathwork: Breath is Life
By Nancy L. Frey, PhD
1 December 2022
If you have no idea what ‘breathwork’ is, I strongly encourage you to read the best-selling book Breath. The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor. Many people don’t pay much attention to how they breathe despite the fact that we do it 20-30,000 times per day. It’s also the first and last thing we do on this Earth.
How we breathe matters and is fundamental to our health and well-being impacting the function of all of our systems – cardiac, respiratory, nervous, digestive, immune, muscular, etc. Many things to improve health can be done simply by becoming aware of how you breathe and retraining breathing habits that may not serve you well. Considering it’s something we must do, why not learn how to do it better? It’s simple, easy, and deeply rewarding.
Your breath can be a powerful vehicle between the mind and the body. With the breath you can reset, recover, focus, change your state of mind and positively impact your physiology. By breathing with awareness and intention you can become a ‘conscious breather’ and develop simple tools to quickly and effectively access, eg, your nervous system to calm and relax or energize or improve endurance depending on what you need. You can also learn ways to lower your BP and heart rate through breathing. Many of us deal with stress and anxiety in our lives and work. By befriending and connecting with the breath, you can learn to fall asleep faster, to stay calm in stressful situations and even transform your relationship with stress.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Nancy trained to be a certified breathwork instructor and on tour she will offer daily sessions at different times of day integrated into the program combined with light stretching and guided meditations to enhance the effects.
The goal on the tour with the breathwork sessions is to bring attention to how we breathe, learn different breathing techniques, and to open up and connect with the different systems in your body for better health and focus. You will take these simple but effective tools home with you and perhaps, even better, a new sense that your breath is your friend with whom you can develop a very special relationship and bring balance into your life. No preparation or previous knowledge is necessary (except – please keep breathing until we see one another!)
Nancy is so personable, I was immediately made to feel relaxed and in safe hands. My session was fully guided, full of care and very reassuring allowing me to work at my own pace throughout. We worked through a series of varied exercises, gradually building up to the more energetic technique and then bringing my energy levels back to a calm steady state with the breath, a meditative mantra practice and some comforting affirmations.
I felt safe throughout, I learnt techniques new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the session.
I went from having an anxious episode earlier in the morning to being fully present and calm in my body for the entire session. Experiencing total lightness in my body and a feeling of such well-being. There has previously been some resistance in my left hip whilst practicing breath-work but this did not occur today, my hips felt completely open and energised.
Thank you Nancy for a beautiful and lasting experience, I look forward to taking part in more of your teachings.
Nicolette, UK, April 2022