Many of you have already enjoyed the Breathwork sessions with Sophie that are now offered on the Clear Minds website and app. Since the concept of breathwork is a fairly new one, I thought I’d ask Sophie some questions to help us all understand a bit more about it.
Terri: Sophie, can you give us a brief overview of the purpose of breathwork?
Sophie: People often think they breathe naturally, so why would they want to focus on their breath. The truth is, most people have a dysfunctional breath, they may breathe only in their upper chest, they may shallow breathe or find that they hold their breath throughout the day.
Breathwork uses the simplest yet the most powerful healing tool available to us – our breath
There are many different techniques and explanations of Breathwork. Simply, Breathwork is when we consciously use our breathing to change the way we feel and think, changing our state of being. You can go from feeling anxious to calm, stressed to relaxed, from scattered to focused or even reach higher states of consciousness. Any time we use a technique involving our breath to change our physical, mental or emotional state, that’s Breathwork. Every breath correlates with our experiences in life and we tend to hold our breath when we are trying to control emotion or pain.
Terri: Yes, I have noticed that I'm holding my breath from time to time, but I didn't put two and two together and recognize that it was likely when I was trying to feel in control. So interesting! How long have you been practicing Breathwork for?
Sophie: For around 5 years now alongside my meditation practice.
Terri: So you have had plenty of time to experience the effects of it! What is your favorite thing about this practice?
Sophie: It takes just a couple of minutes of conscious breathing to change how you think and feel. We get 90% of our energy from oxygen and most people are only using 30% of their lung capacity, so it’s amazing what can happen when we start to breathe differently. We feel more energised, calm, focused and grounded. The way you breathe affects every system and function in your body. There are different breathing exercises for different outcomes, e.g. sleep, releasing anxiety, increasing confidence, energy, grounding and relaxing.
Terri: That's something I didn't realise until I checked out the various sessions on the Clear Minds app. I used one the other day to energise myself in the afternoon when I was feeling tired, and it really worked! How often do you personally do a breathwork session?
Sophie: I do a short session each morning, sometimes only for 3-5 minutes, it’s amazing how quickly you can feel the benefits. Usually I do 30 connected breaths and hold my breath on the exhale, and then the inhale.
Terri: Good to know...I'm going to try that tomorrow morning! What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned from this practice?
Sophie: You can change how you feel and live by changing your breath. A predictor of longevity and health is the way you breathe and it’s really simple to transform your breathing. Your breath can help you release old emotions and trauma in the body. We hold everything we experience and lived in our bodies, a deeper breathwork journey can help you to connect to that and to slowly release it.
Terri: That makes sense, and yes, it IS simple. I think we often want to find complicated solutions to things, somehow imagining that they're better, but I know I tend to abandon those after a while because they're too difficult and complex to keep doing. This feels so simple that it could be incorporated into daily life without too much trouble, and actually be sustained! So, who can benefit the most from doing breathwork?
Sophie: Everyone who breathes!
Terri: Haha! Ok then...that's simple too! Have your friends and family been supportive of your journey with breathwork?
Sophie: Yes, absolutely and I love doing sessions with them!
Terri: I'm sure they are very happy about that too! What are some personal gains you’ve experienced from Breathwork over the years?
Sophie: It’s supported me to gently release trauma and tension in my body after cancer treatment. It’s improved my energy, focus and I’ve felt more connected to myself and my body.Terri: That's really wonderful! I think everyone needs to know about this really powerful, yet simple, modality. Thank you so much for answering my questions today!
I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited to listen to more of Sophie’s sessions and experience some of the benefits she’s describing. I am often aware that my breathing is shallow, and I know that when I remember to breathe more consciously and deeply I feel a lot less anxious and stressed out. I’d love to hear what you experience from listening to the sessions, so please post below, or on our exclusive Clear Minds Facebook support group!Click here for the Clear Minds Breathwork Package