Over the last 30 years, the art and science of Breathwork has made its way to the cutting edge of the human potential movement; and it has found its place at the forefront of mind-body medicine. Breath Awareness and Conscious Breathing are studied and taught wherever consciousness and spirit, science and religion, or loving hearts and open minds come together for good.

From ancient times, breath and breathing has been held sacred by practically every culture in history. The spirit of breath has been celebrated in myth, veiled in ritual, and often passed on only in secret. Yet today, most people are quite aware that conscious breathing is a key to awakening to self-realization, to peak performance, optimum health, and ultimate potential.

If you’re a health nut or fitness junkie, take note. If you are into self-improvement or personal growth, pay attention. If you are a counselor or a therapist, or an athlete or a coach, a performer, a healer, or simply a student of life, or one of our treasured elders: then you owe it to yourself to discover, explore and develop the power and potential of Breathwork!

By focusing on your breath, you can awaken healing energies and calming forces within your mind and body. By breathing in certain ways, you can control and direct many so called unconscious or involuntary processes. You can regulate or normalize your physiological, emotional, psychological states.

Since the day you were born, your breath has been your constant companion. The same energy that built your body in the womb is still available to you to rebuild and renew it today. You can use the power and skill of conscious breathing to awaken your creative energy and to tap into your highest potential.

You can breathe in such a way as to feel more energized and alive, more centered and balanced, more relaxed and focused. You can use your breath to free yourself of physical, emotional and psychological pain. Whatever your issues, problems or challenges are, the way you breathe can trigger your symptoms or make them worse; and certain ways of breathing can reduce or eliminate them.

Breath awareness brings to light many unconscious habits and reactions. This awareness can help us to prevent or resolve a host of health problems, life challenges, and relationship issues. If you can become aware of how you are breathing when negative or painful thoughts and feelings arise; and if you can redirect the flow of breath at those times, wonderful changes can occur!

Observe your breathing right now while sitting. How do you know that you are breathing? What feelings or sensations do you notice as the breath comes in and goes out? Where does the breath go? 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? Do you breathe fast or slow? Can you feel the sensations at the tip of your nose or in your throat as you breathe? What happens in your back, neck, and shoulders when you breathe?

Continue this exploration… Tune into the tiny details, the subtle sensations of the breath. Is your breathing full and free? Is it smooth, easy, relaxed, or is it rushed or constricted? Breathing is the language of the soul. Like the expression on your face, the tone of your voice, or your posture, the way that you breathe reflects and expresses what is happening inside of you.

Breathing patterns are like fingerprints: unique to each of us, and yet alive and changing moment to moment. The way you breathe when you are afraid or upset is different than the way you breathe when you are calm or relaxed. The way that you breathe when you are working on a math problem is different than when you are enjoying music. The way you breathe when you are jealous or angry is different than the way you breathe when you are peaceful and flowing.

Every psychological, emotional and physiological state has a corresponding breathing quality or pattern. As you change from one state to another, your breathing pattern changes. And when you change your breathing pattern, you can change your state.

Stand up and breathe. Let your arms hang by your side. Turn your palms forward and then draw your arms up and back as you lift your chin, raise your head and inhale. Notice how the breath expands. Next, bend over, hanging at the waist, as if reaching for your toes. Breathe in. Notice the difference in breathing sensations.

Lie down and relax. Let your whole body loosen and soften. Notice how smooth and easy the breathing becomes. Then, tense every muscle in your body, and try to breathe while maintaining all that tension.

Give yourself a sigh of relief right now. Give yourself the kind of big relaxing sigh of relief that comes after a long hectic day, when you finally get home to your favorite chair, and you can really relax: it’s the kind of breath you take when all the work is done. Take a deep breath now, and deliberately let it out in the form of a big pleasurable sigh of release and relief.

A breath like this comes to us by itself from time to time. Do it now on purpose. Exaggerate it. Make it dramatic; make it theatrical! Notice how you feel after two or three big luxurious sighs. (For a real life adventure, try this in an elevator, in a restaurant, during a serious lecture, in court, or in church!)

I encourage people to yawn and sigh on purpose. Yawning is Yoga! Have you ever watched a dog or cat yawn? What happens in their spine and limbs, their jaw, neck, and even its pelvis and hips. You have to do those things too! Your whole body needs to take part in the yawn. Let it!

Try yawning right now. We have been taught to hide, block, or stifle our yawns. And that is exactly what you are doing to your spirit! And so, make yourself yawn right now. There is a certain something that you can do in the back of your jaw and your throat as you inhale in order to trigger a yawn. Fake a yawn until a real yawn happens. Stretch! Make noise! Be dramatic! Do it again. Give yourself one yawn after another for two minutes.How do you feel after that? Are you buzzing? Are your eyes watering? Are your juices flowing? Do you feel more relaxed, more alive, more awake? What has changed inside of you?

Following here, are 7simple but powerful breathing exercises. Take a few minutes to explore each of them. Find one you like, or use them to invent one of your own. If you practice any of these breathingexercises on a daily basis, and you will add years to your life and life to your years—guaranteed!

Warning! These Breath Awareness and Conscious Breathing exercises and techniques can be very habit forming, even addictive! And so, if you are not careful, you may begin to feel good everywhere, all the time, with everyone, for no reason at all!

1) Put the exhale first. Most people think of breathing in terms of an inhale followed by an exhale. But who says the inhale has to come first? By changing your orientation to the breath in this way, you can create many new possibilities.

2) Breathe low and slow. Diaphragmatic or belly breathing helps you to combat stress, and to regain your composure. Use it to calm, balance, and ground yourself. Relax into the pause after the exhale. Stretch the breaths out so that each inhale and each exhale lasts for several seconds longer than usual.

3) Combine breathing and thought. As you inhale think or say to yourself “I am relaxed.” As you exhale you can think, or say to yourself “I am peaceful.” With each breaththink or tell yourself “I am healthy and strong, safe and free.” You can create your own positive thoughts or affirmations, and breathe them into existence!

4) Combine breathing and movement. As you breathe in and expand, allow your hands and arms to express this expansion. Allow your body to move in some way, in synch with the breathing. You can also breathe in rhythm to your footsteps as you walk or run.

5) Combine breathing and sound. You can make breathing noises: wind noises, ocean noises. You can make calm soothing sounds on the exhale. Breathe in through your nose and then breathe out through your mouth, making a “hoooh” or “haaah” sound. Hum, whistle, sing!

6) Combine breathing and visualization. Imagine light coming into you and filling you as you inhale. As you exhale, imagine this light radiating from you. As you inhale, imaginehealing light flowing to every cell in your body: nourishing, cleansing, renewing, soothing, strengthening, Then imagine this flowing out to the world as love, touching and blessing everyone and everything in your life.

7) Learn the Rebirthing Breath, also called “conscious energy breathing,” “connected breathing” or “circular breathing.” Get the breathing turning like a wheel, with no pauses or gaps between the breaths… Breathe in a smooth, gentle, rhythmic, continuous fashion.

Good luck with your practice,

And many blessings on your path!


PS: Attend one of the upcoming seminars, or workshops scheduled in your area, and get some hands on coaching and training!

Also, I am offering a free webinar on March 29.

Joining me will be Stig Severinsen--multiple guiness world record holder, including underwater Breath-Holding (22 minutes!)

We will be discussing "Breathwork" as a way to heal and Post Traumatic Stress and Anxiety disorders.

This is the link to register:

Visit: www.breathmastery.com

Download the Free E-Book

“Shut Up And Breathe: How to Clear Your Head, Settle Your Stomach, and Calm Your Nerves, Anywhere, Anytime, No Matter What!”

Become one of my Breath Mastery Inner Circle Members

And Enroll in the One Year Seminar Program


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.