Breathwork 101

Breathwork is an active form of meditation that regulates the flow of breath and for many people can be an effective way to balance the body and still the racing thoughts in your mind. There are many different techniques and ways to practice breathwork, each technique having a specific purpose and ways it affects the body.

When doing breathwork a great way to induce a deeper meditative state is to practice while using inHarmony meditation cushions. The inHarmony family of products currently include inHarmony Sound Lounge, inHarmony Practitioner, and inHarmony Meditation Cushion. These tech-assisted devices use vibroacoustic therapy and patent approved technology by the USPTO to help you relax, increase your mental clarity, improve your mood, relieve chronic pain, and reduce anxiety. 

Anytime you can incorporate more breath awareness into your life, the better. Though, a particular good time of the day to put this into practice is the morning.

"Just a single thought is capable of changing the breathing pattern."

- Isle Middendorf

Here are a few techniques you can try:

Box Breathing: Also called the 4-4-4-4. This technique involves breathing in for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of four, breathing out for a count of four, and holding the breath again for a count of four. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus and concentration.  It’s a great technique to use when you need an energy boost.

4-7-8 Breathing: This technique involves breathing in for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of seven, and exhaling for a count of eight. This can help to promote relaxation and calmness and can be used as a sleep aid. It’s a great technique to use when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

The 5-5 Breath: This coherent breathing is a controlled and conscious breathing practice that slows down our breathing to 4 seconds and then 5 seconds. This works to slow breathing from our natural tendency; which is to breathe at a rate of two or three seconds per minute. It’s a great technique to use when you’re getting worked up throughout the day.

Alternate Nostril Breathing: This technique involves closing one nostril and breathing in through the other, then switching and breathing out through the other nostril. This can help to balance the nervous system and improve overall well-being. It’s a great technique to use when you need to focus. *Pro tip: it’s best done on an empty stomach.

There are many benefits of practicing breathwork techniques on a daily basis. Some health benefits include:

- Reduced stress and anxiety

- Improved focus and concentration

- Increased calmness and relaxation

- Improved sleep

- Balanced nervous system

- Improved overall well being

We’ll guide you through an easy exercise to get you started. It’s called the Complete Belly Breath:

  • - Get yourself seated or lying on a comfortable chair, cushion, bed, or inHarmony cushion

  • - Place one hand on your belly, relax the abdominal muscles

  • - Slowly inhale through the nose, drawing the air into the bottom of your lungs. You should feel the abdomen rise

  • - On the same inhale, feel the rib cage expand outward as the breath move upward until the collar bones rise

  • - Pause for a moment, then exhale out the mouth gently from the top of your lungs toward the bottom

  • - At the end of the exhalation, draw your belly button toward your spine, pushing any residual air out of the bottom of the lungs

If you are just starting out, it is best to begin with basic techniques and gradually work your way up to more advanced practices. In general, it’s recommended to perform this practice for about 5-10 minutes. Here are a few tips for getting started.

  • Pick a comfortable and quiet place to practice where you will not be disturbed.

  • Start with a few minutes and gradually increase the length of your sessions.
  • Being consistent with breathwork can be challenging, as it requires setting aside dedicated time each day to practice. Many people find it helpful to incorporate breathwork into their daily morning or night time routine. Practicing in the morning can help set a positive tone for the day, while practicing before bed can help with relaxation and sleep. It's best to try different times of the day and see what works best for you.

Remember to be patient with yourself and listen to your body. Finding what works best for you by finding a time that works in your schedule and the right technique that makes you the most comfortable is going to be key to staying consistent and noticing changes in your overall well-being.

Take a look at inHarmony’s extensive selection of tech-assisted meditation technology to get started on your vibroacoustic therapy and breathwork journey.

Craig Goldberg, Co-Founder, inHarmony Interactive