With mental health and wellness taking centre stage, breathwork has paved its way to becoming an integral tool for emotional release, especially after the pandemic. But why? According to a study published by the Frontiers In Human Neuroscience, slow breathing techniques are linked to the autonomic and central nervous system, and it helps your body relax and increases heart rate variability.If there’s one thing that binds the world together, it’s stress. “The moment we focus our minds on our breath, there is a sense of calmness. The world around us is changing, and we need to find an anchor within our lives that’ll help us release this stress and allow us to feel our emotions. That anchor can be your breath,” says Sondhi. Stress aside, breathwork is also an excellent tool for processing and regulating many more mental aggressors.

A) Anxiety Management
Thirty-six-year-old wellness teacher Amrita Kaur Rana ound breathwork to be a great tool to combat her anxiety. “About five years ago, I realised I had very high functioning (but unacknowledged) anxiety that was crippling. At that point, I had started life coaching with a friend, and she’d tell me to ‘breathe’. I did not realise how unconscious I was of my breath. Another healer I worked with taught me intentional sighs to release the heaviness I experienced, and I found that to be very effective.” Later, Rana stumbled upon various YouTube videos on breathwork, gave them a touch of her own, and started incorporating the technique into her daily life. “With every intentional breath, I am more centred and mindful of my environment. At times of chaos or certain triggers, I find that it soothes me almost immediately,” she adds.

B) Acknowledging Repressed Emotions
The peak of the pandemic, coupled with worsening mental health and the grief of her mother’s death, pushed 29-year-old launch copywriter Shalaka Kay to incorporate somatic meditation into her routine. “I wanted a healthy way to process all the emotions and feelings stuck in my body,” she says. “Breathwork grounded me while giving me the space to process these feelings.” In a LinkedIn post, she documented the difficult time describing her struggle with unresolved trauma and grief. Through breathwork, she found herself tapping into memories of her mother and all the pain she had suppressed. “It has helped me gain mental clarity and become more emotionally and physically self-aware. I have started feeling my emotions deeper in my body, and I can self-regulate in the difficult moments now.”Kay isn’t the only one who experienced this flow. Twenty-one-year-old clinical hypnotherapist Tavneet N Kaur felt a sense of release after an intense breathwork session. “The emotions that didn’t find a release were stored somewhere in the body. Through my breath, I released all those stored emotions weighing me down. I didn’t even know I held so much within. I broke down – I had internalised so much throughout my life that releasing it took a lot of effort.”

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