Last updated on December 2nd, 2023.
Aside from being necessary for survival, breathing has other benefits. Whether you want to heal your body, quiet your mind, or purify your spirit, you can find the solution in a variety of breath techniques, some of which can be quite beneficial. Breathwork and Pranayama are two examples of these methods.
Breathwork and Pranayama are techniques for your breath, which can be great exercises for your physical and mental well being. Breathwork can be any kind of breathing exercise, while Pranayama is a specific kind of breath regulation technique.
These breathing exercises can have a significant impact on how you feel. Anyone may learn the skills, and anyone can benefit immensely from them. Continue reading to learn more about these approaches, how they work, and the distinctions between them.
What is Breathwork and Pranayama?
Breathwork and Pranayama are both two kinds of breathing techniques, or exercises where you change and manually manipulate your breathing pattern. The purpose of these exercises are to improve their mental well being, increase alertness, and more.
These are both practiced by changing the way you breathe, from controlling how deep your breath is as well as how fast your breath is. There is no shortage of exercises and benefits out there.
You may have encountered these exercises before even if you didn’t know what they were called; after all, many breath methods aren’t labeled as such yet fall into the same category. Yoga and meditation, for example, both heavily rely on these abilities.
Breathwork is defined as any kind of breathing exercise, where a person will control their pace of breath. Some examples for these techniques are
- Pursed lip breathing, where you bring your lips together like you’re about to blow out a candle and inhale and exhale, twice as long to exhale as inhale.
- Diaphragmatic breathing, also called belly breathing. This technique is like regular breathing where you inhale and exhale through your mouth, as you feel the air pass through your abdomen.
- Box breathing, this is where you slowly exhale until you feel the breath out of your lungs, and then inhale for around 4 seconds, hold your breath and then exhale again.
These exercises can be done in a variety of ways that all seek to improve your mental health, as well as your physical health. These exercises can be particularly useful for people with lung conditions as well as ones who suffer from anxiety and stress.
Pranayama is defined as controlling your breathing in different ways in a specific sequence. As you perform pranayama exercises, you’ll control the timing and pace of each breath. A few of these exercises include
- Alternate nostril breathing, where you inhale through one nostril and out the other. This simple exercise can help you relax and alleviate stress.
- Ujjayi Pranayama, where you exhale as if you were going to induce fog on glass consistently. As a result, you’ll slightly constrict the glottis muscle within your throat to cleanse it.
- Simha Pranayama, also known as lion’s breath, is where you inhale, and as you exhale you bring your tongue out to release your breath all at once and stretch your face muscles.
These exercises and techniques can be done anywhere at any time, but it’s also recommended you have space and a mat where you can focus and give yourself a full range of motion for when you want to block all distractions. Pranayama is often used in yoga. You can discover how to sequence a yoga class for beginners including pranayama in this article.
How are Breathwork and Pranayama Different?
The key difference between these two skills is that breathwork is any kind of breathing exercise, while Pranayama is a specific form of exercise. Breathwork can even incorporate Pranayama exercises within them, but not all breathworks are Pranayama.
Certain exercises are breathworks because they have you directly manipulate your breathing, while certain techniques fall under the Pranayama category because they encourage you to be more mindful and specific about how you’re breathing in the first place.
While breathwork and Pranayama both have their own advantages, both can be used to improve specific areas. You might gravitate towards one or the other depending on which exercises you feel more comfortable performing, as well as how good you feel after each one.
How can I learn more about Pranayama?
You’ll want to learn more about Pranayama because it can help you control your breath and improve your mood in ways you never imagined. There are consistent exercises and practices you can train with to become a master of your own breath.
To find out more, you can start training and you’ll be able to learn basic and advanced techniques, learn from actual experts, and work within your own schedule. Learning more about Pranayama consists of learning what the different exercises are, how to perform them, and how they can benefit you.
Once you learn about the foundational techniques, you can start trying them yourself and incorporating them into your daily routine, these are skills that will never stop being helpful.
How can I learn more about Breathwork?
You should study more about breathwork since it can benefit you in areas like stress management anxiety relief. Breathwork can be the foundation of a much healthier lifestyle if you learn it right.
To find out more, check out resources where you can learn from a breathwork practitioner, or even get a breathwork certification yourself. These techniques are easy to learn, but once you master them, you’ll experience the benefits of pranayama firsthand.
You can try some techniques for yourself that will quickly become part of a daily routine, and once you master the skills, you’ll be ready to teach others so they can improve their wellbeing as well.
Whether you wish to soothe your health, calm your mind, or cleanse your soul, a number of breath practices can help.
Breathwork and Pranayama may both be beneficial to your physical and emotional health at the same time. Breathwork refers to any type of breathing practice, whereas Pranayama refers to a specific type of breath management method. These breathing exercises may make a big difference in your everyday routine.