Breathwork in the Media

by | Feb 2, 2024 | Articles

The more that breathwork emerges in the media, the more we can all get a sense of how it can improve our lives.   I will be using this space to share what I see and hear.

Different styles of breathwork have been taught in yoga for centuries, and in therapy for anxiety and insomnia in more recent decades.

Less familiar has been the use of “circular connected” or “holotropic” breathing for spiritual and psychological growth and healing.  One exciting recent article visits a doctor, a psychologist, and a psychiatric nurse who’ve turned to this type of breathwork as they’ve been frustrated in their attempts to benefit from psychedelic therapies generally:

While psychedelic therapies have been transformative for many, they remain hard to access.  They also can feel scary for some, and are advised against for others.  Breathwork mostly sidesteps these problems, providing an accessible experience using your own body’s resources.

Reading on, this description from a skilled breathwork facilitator really struck me—I love how she puts it:

The beauty of breathwork is that you are in control of your breath and the journey. Meaning, you will receive exactly what you are ready and available for in that moment. Nothing more, nothing less.

Breathwork isn’t going to send you on an uncontrollable “trip” or take you to dark places you’re unprepared to visit.

It’s only going to reveal to you what you are ready to see in this present moment.

Through breathwork, you become an active participant in your own healing and expansion.

 Though breathwork often stands alone from psychotherapy, I think they do complement each other beautifully.  Whatever you work on in therapy can be further illuminated, your understanding deepened, with breathwork.  And often past trials and traumas held in the body can be softened or released through breathwork, as an adjunct to therapy.

People do indeed seek breathwork for many of the same reasons they seek psychedelic therapies.  These experiences both change people, at least in part, by helping them to see and know the bigger picture better, and how their own body and life connects with that.