The Benefits of Breathwork • Brain Science
The benefits of Breathwork are profound – multi-layered and multi-textured. It’s a deeply experiential tool, the hows and whys and ‘science’ behind it are perhaps the superfluous cherry on top, but they are fascinating nevertheless.
My personal preference these days is always for mystery and awe and wonder, my ‘need to know’ now silenced and insignificant, but a little exploration around the benefits of Breathwork in the context of brain science is simply FASCINATING!
Left vs Right Brain
Many of us reside rather lopsidedly in our left brain hemisphere.
This part is responsible for goal orientation and planning, leading us to focus on/ worry about the future. Whilst our brains are busy analysing, interpreting, judging, we become over focused on achieving and find ourselves clinging to outcomes and expectations.
This invariably leads to stress, tension and anxiety, as well as varying degrees of disappointment when our goals are not reached, or when they are, quickly wanting to move on to the next.
Our minds and bodies become clenched and rigid, blocking the flow of life force energy, inspiration and inutition.
Our right brain hemipshere is more ‘open’ – it can hold more fluid conditions steeped in curiosity and not knowing, making space for ambiguity and flow.
To be only in the right hemisphere is a place of pure peace, love and joy, as evidenced by the experience of Jill Bolte Taylor who suffered a stroke in the left hemisphere.
She described her experience as ‘being enfolded by a blanket of tranquil euphoria’, and how she ‘morphed from feeling small and isolated to feeling enormous and expansive’. Her consciousness ‘soared into an all knowingness, and a feeling of ‘being at one’ with the universe’.
She was no longer able to think about the past or future.
This is EXACTLY what Breathwork has the capacity to do for us.
The benefits of Breathwork are truly astounding.
The Benefits of Breathwork
Breathwork can transport us into a space that is always within us but often beyond our grasp.
By focusing on the breath, we can shift our consciousness into the right brain hemisphere. The cacophony of voices that usually vie for our attention are quieted, and we get to experience a whole new version of ourselves.
The more we do this, our nervous systems become soothed and the more peaceful, more relaxed and more joyful we can be.
I believe deeply that life is about balance. Everything about ourselves, about our brains, and about our energies needs to come into balance. It is our ‘job’ to integrate the polarities, to find a way to come to centre.
We will invariably swing from one polarity to another, throughout our different phases of growth, throughout our cycles, and throughout the ever-evolving landscapes of our lives.
With increased awareness and compassion we can temper the intensity of these oscillations, and with intention become more centred and more grounded.
I see the left brain as fear, the right brain as love. We need both, we are both. But we need them in balance.