Our senses are on high alert, and that means awareness is at the tip of our nose, literally! So, how can awareness be helpful rather than a burden? A common question popping up in conversations, client calls and breath sessions recently is what is the difference between Meditation and Breathwork? Mindfulness, awareness, attention, focus and stillness are all terms directly related to meditation, and we all know the many benefits, yet we still struggle to sit still. Why is it so difficult, to sit still, to focus, to pay attention to the breath? Because we don't know how to breathe! Here is where Breathwork comes in...
When we have a million and one things on our plate everyday, and we know how important it is to stop and watch the breath. You tell your monkey mind, to sit down, shut up and then attempt to pay attention. What comes up is the very thing that makes you uncomfortable - a thought, or two, or three... then we start to react to those thoughts, our breath starts to change, our nervous system kicks into fight or flight, survival mode. We feel restless, irritable and discontent, which leads to more thoughts. We numb out the way that feels good, we say to hell with it, stand up from our cushion and go back to the grind. We go back to the monotonous work that keeps our mind busy, scroll through social media, plant our head in the fridge, etc. The cycle continues.
What happened? As beginners, we try to sit still, with nothing to keep our mind focused except the idea of paying attention to the breath, and we get trapped in thought, lots of thought. Unless we are extremely disciplined (which is what we are trying to learn in the first place) we give up, bail out, and claim meditation doesn't work. So we stop doing the very thing that will help us get better - we stop practicing.
Meditation is an advanced practice. Of course, we can all follow along on a guided tour through visual images, bells, chimes and singing bowls, but what is really happening with our breath. We experience and explore how to manage the breath with "conscious, controlled breathing or Breathwork." Breathwork is an active practice to keep you on the path of focus.
Breathwork comes in many sizes, but for the purpose of this explanation, it is a tool that will teach you time after time how to manage the thoughts that turn into emotions, and the emotions that turn into reactions. It happens to all of us, at least once a day, everyday. So, why not build the muscle memory to respond to life rather than react to it.
Here is your call to action, start today with learning the basic fundamentals of breathwork via my 21 days of Breathwork. The very techniques required to start building emotional muscle memory. We also host a monthly Relax & Rejuvenate Breath Flow Class the 1st Wednesday of every month to help you learn the rhythms of these techniques. We want you to breathe better! Learn to find YOUR Breath of Wellness.