If you’re a health nut or a fitness junkie, take note. If you’re into self-improvement or spiritual development, pay attention. If you’re an artist or a performer, a counselor or a therapist, an athlete or a coach, a speaker or a healer, or simply a student of life, then breathwork is for you!

Breathwork awakens healing energies and calming forces within you. With breathwork you can improve your physiological, emotional, psychological and spiritual health. Whatever issues or problems you have, certain ways of breathing will trigger your symptoms or make them worse. And certain ways of breathing will reduce your symptoms or eliminate them.

You can use breathwork to clear yourself of many issues and problems. You can use breathwork to feel more energized and alive, more centered and balanced, more relaxed and focused. You can use breathwork to generate deep lasting peace, profound insights, ecstatic states, and even spiritual enlightenment!

Breathing is the language of the soul. Just as the expression on your face, the tone of your voice or your posture communicates how you feel, your breathing habits and patterns, and the way that you breathe in certain situations, says a lot about you. In fact, the deepest aspects of your personality—your core issues in life—are revealed in the way you breathe!

The way you breathe when you are afraid or upset is different than the way you breathe when you are peaceful and calm. The way you breathe when you are jealous or angry is different than the way you breathe when you are loving and kind. The way that you breathe when you are working on a math problem is different than the way you breathe when you are enjoying music.

Every psychological, emotional or physiological state has an associated or corresponding breathing quality or pattern. As you shift from one mood or state to another your breathing pattern also changes. These changes can be observed, measured and controlled. By playing with your breath, you can begin to deliberately access or activate different thinking and feeling states.

When you are putting a key in a door, or straining to hear a sound in the distance, or trying to remember something important, something happens to your breathing. In order not to cry or laugh, you do something with your breath. When you need to be quiet and still, or hide and not be noticed, you do something with your breath.

Are you conscious of your breathing habits, patterns, reflexes and responses? Are you aware of what is happening with your breath as you move through different moods and feelings and activities and state throughout the day? Do you have a breathing practice? Are you making full use of the power and potential of your breath and breathing?

Here are five things you can do to give yourself a taste of breathwork:

1. Practice Breath Awareness

Tune into your body and your breath right now. How do you know that you are breathing? What feelings or sensations do you notice as the breath comes and goes? What sensations do you feel at the tip of your nose and in your throat as you breathe? Where does the breath go when it flows into you? What does it touch? What moves when you breathe? What muscles do you use? Do you breathe high in your chest or low in your belly? What happens in your neck and shoulders when you breathe? Is your breathing easy and full, free and relaxed? Or is your breathing shallow, jagged, blocked, or irregular?

Tune into your breath like this right now. Be aware of the details of your moment-to-moment experience. Do this at different times of the day, when you are involved in different activities. The awareness it brings can transform your life!

2. Make yourself Yawn.

Have you ever watched a dog or a cat yawn? Watch what it does with its jaw and its neck. Watch what it does with its spine and its limbs, and with its hips and pelvis. You have to do those things too! Your spine, your neck, your jaw, your whole body, should take part in the yawn!

Do it now. Fake a yawn until a real yawn happens. Stretch when you yawn. Make noise. Give yourself one yawn after another for a full minute. And then tune into your body. How does it feel? What has changed in you? Are you buzzing? Are your eyes watering? Are your juices flowing? Does the world look brighter? Do you feel more relaxed, alive, and awake?

3. Give yourself a sigh of relief.

This is the kind of breath you take after a long hectic day, the kind of breath you take when you come home and can finally relax into your favorite chair. It’s the kind of breath you take when you feel success, satisfaction, or completion. It usually comes by itself in those special moments.

Take in a deep breath now, and for no reason at all deliberately let it out in the form of a big soothing luxurious sigh of relief. Do it on purpose now. Exaggerate it. Have fun with it. Do it again and again for a full minute, and notice how you feel.

4. Stand up and breathe.

As you inhale, lift your arms up and stretch them out to your sides, raise your head up and tilt it back. Notice how the breath and body expand as you breathe in. Then bend over at the waist or curl up in a ball. Breathe in this position. Notice the different feelings of pressure and expansion.

5. Lay down on your back and relax.

Let go of all your muscles and joints. Allow your whole body to loosen and soften. Notice how smooth and easy your breathing becomes all by itself when you do this. Then tense every muscle in your body and try to breathe. What do you discover?

After 35 years of study and practice, and after working with more than 80,000 people in over 40 countries, I can say that breathwork is definitely the easiest, quickest, and most effective way to clear your head, settle your stomach, calm your nerves, and open your heart!

To learn more about the art and science of breathwork, visit www.breathmastery.com. Subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, and download the free e-book “An Introduction to Breathwork.”

Author's Bio: 

Dan Brulé has studied and practiced breathwork with more than 80,000 people in over 40 countries since 1976. His travel and teaching schedule is posted at www.breathmastery.com.