What is Breathwork?
Breathwork is a simple yet profound, three-part, breathing technique that originates from pranayama yoga. Unlike meditation, where we are aware of the mental chatter, Breathwork is an active meditation. You are working your breath and able to disconnect from the mind and enter a different state of consciousness. Read more below for what to expect during Breathwork, benefits of Breathwork, outcomes of Breathwork and the science behind Breathwork.
What to expect during Breathwork:
You lay on the floor, music is played, you breathe, and I will coach you through the active breathing for approximately 20-25 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of relaxation. Each Breathwork session is unique and experiences can be different for each individual or from one Breathwork session to the next. You may experience the following, but your experience is not limited to the following benefits:
Benefits of Breathwork:
- Reduced stress, tension or constriction
- Feelings of openness, love, peace, and gratitude, clarity, connection
- Release of trauma or mental, physical and emotional blocks
- Release of anxiety, depression, fear, grief and/or anger
- Access to unconscious memories relevant to your healing
- Deeper states of consciousness and inspiration
- Downloads about your work, finances, relationships, health conditions
Breathwork can open meridians and channels, align your body and its energy, and create a revelatory and healing experience. The beauty of Breathwork is that it is natural so that you and your breath become the source of answers to questions, insights to challenges, freedom from feeling stuck, downloads to what's next for you, your life and your work in the world.
I'm totally blissed out after doing breathwork with gwen. I highly recommend working with her!
- Alison Wu, Blogger, Influencer @alison_wu, Portland, Oregon
i've done kundalini yoga, meditation and yoga before but breath work was unlike anything i've ever experienced. i just did my FIRST BREath work session with gwen and all i can say is woa! It helps release trauma or ANYTHING else you're experiencing. i felt like i left my body.
- Lee Tilghman, Blogger, Influencer @leefromamerica, Los Angeles, California
I went to my first BreathWork class with Gwen and WOW! It was it quite an experience. i highly recommend and will bring my husband to the next class. This is not your typical laying down type of meditation. breathwork is focused, controlled, rhythmic breathing from deep inside. at the end of the class, I felt stress free and focused, Like I had a great workout but i never moved. I Highly recommend it!
- Carrie Murray, Founder BRA Network, Sherman Oaks, California
gwen held a safe and sacred space. I came in feeling uncertain and blocked. I left vibrating and alive. i was more creative the following day than i have been in years and have been since. i am so grateful.
- Rianna Scipio, Imagine Sober Living, Los Angeles, California
Breathwork is sacred and Gwen holds the safe and loving space necessary to experience the delicious releases or awarenesses that Breathwork may bring when in session. She's the guide and the master. So grateful for her expertise and loving spirit and the insights I've gained working with Gwen!
- Martha Jeffers, Leadership Coach and Facilitator, Los Angeles, California
my breathwork session with gwen was a surprise. i was feeling balanced and unsure of what would be revealed. wow. deep issues surfaced when i started breathing and i discovered extraordinary things about my ability to love myself. i had a huge ah-ha moment of realizing that i still needed to learn how to be loving to myself when i felt tranquil and balanced versus only when i was chaotic or struggling. i look forward to making gwen's breath work class part of my regular self-care.
- Stephanie Speights, Sustainability and Zero-Waste Consultant, Los Angeles, California
Research on the Benefits of Breathing:
In Yoga tradition, practitioners have been aware of the power of breath for thousands of years. Richard P. Brown and Patricia L. Gerbarg published on Yoga Breathing, Meditation, and Longetivity.
Psychiatrists and neurologists at Boston University, University of South Carolina and more are researching and noticing the profound effects of breathing in depression and anxiety.
Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. a Stanford neuroscientist, studies breathing and its relationship to stress response. Other performance coaches, such as Jason Amoroso, are sharing it with professional athletes.
Wim Hof featured in Discover magazine, who practices a different type of Breathwork, showed in a 2014 scientific study, that when injected with an inflammatory agent, Breathwork patients experienced lower levels of inflammation that would normally accompany receiving the injection.
According to Gay Hendricks, PhD, a Dutch Study compared two groups of heart attack patients. The first group was taught simple diaphragmatic breathing, while the second group was given no training in breathing. The breathing group had no further heart attacks, while 7 of the 12 members of the second group had second heart attacks over the next two years.
Jack Shield, MD conducted a study on the effects of breathing on the lymphatic system. Using cameras inside the body, he found that deep diaphragmatic breathing stimulated the cleansing of the lymph system by creating a vacuum effect, which sucked the lymph through the bloodstream. This increased the rate of toxic elimination by as much as 15 times the normal pace.
Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Deepak Chopra have shared about the benefits of active breathing on public level.
As with any self-care practice, the most important way to learn if it's useful and helpful for you is to experiment with it for yourself. Come to a class and experience it first hand.