Breathing happens. We breathe on autopilot as we bounce from task to task throughout the day, but when we truly take a moment to breathe mindfully, suddenly this ‘given’ becomes a ‘game changer.’ That’s the art of breathwork.
We recently joined holistic healer, Ashley Neese for an afternoon of breathwork, personal discovery and self-care at the cozy-ethereal Light Lab space in East L.A. The intimate gathering invited attendees to immerse themselves in an afternoon dedicated to slowing down and turning in, something Ashley has a unique gift for helping others do. Guests enjoyed dreamy plant-based eats from our Echo Park fave, Honey Hi and beautiful totes to take home featuring a few TCM lifestyle classics like Lite + Cycle candles, Energy Muse crystals, W3LL People and S.W. Basics.
We left feeling brighter and lighter with tools to continue the self-care at home, including this healing breathwork exercise from Ashley. Check it out…
Breathwork For Grounding + Clarity
Deep, slow breathing triggers the body’s natural relaxation response. It also decreases your heart rate and blood pressure, while bringing more oxygen into the bloodstream. Stress cannot live in the body if you consciously change your breathing pattern because stress and anxiety require shallow breathing. When your breath is full and steady, your energy is grounded and it’s much easier to be clear and focused.
Aim to practice every day, either in the morning or evening:
+ Start by getting comfortable. Sit on a chair or on the floor.
+ Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen.
+ Gently close your eyes.
+ Begin with an exhale out of your mouth.
+ Then breathe in and out through your nose.
+ Inhale and expand your abdomen.
+ Exhale and soften, keeping the chest lifted.
+ Take long, smooth inhalations and exhalations.
+ After a few minutes let your arms relax and continue breathing in this pattern. Practice this for 10 minutes.
+ At the end of your practice, notice how you feel.
Thank you for this important tutorial! Also, in many traditional eastern therapeutic breathing techniques (yoga, tai chi, zazen, etc) the emphasis is on the long slow gentle exhale, with a much shorter but still gentle inhale. This balances the oxygen/carbon dioxide ratio that controls the body’s sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system. The diaphragm (and abdomen but not the chest!) is used to SMOOTHLY equalize the respiratory cycle into deep relaxation, with the added bonus of developing more focus, stamina and emotional balance.