the power of breath
with Cat Raincock
Taking a big deep breath is the first thing we do when we arrive on Planet Earth…
…yet believe it or not, most of us as adults aren’t doing it right! Many of us are taking short, fast, chest breaths which signals to our body that we are in a state of high alert (fight or flight) and are subsequently flooded with cortisol and adrenalin.
However, when we breathe correctly, it transforms our health because we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, also called the “rest and digest” system, as well as activating the vagus nerve (the boss of the parasympathetic nervous system) which oversees things like mood, digestion, and heart rate. Big deep breathes will also send more oxygen to your brain and all your other organs, giving them an oxygen boost.
While we could all do with an MOT on our day to day breathing – beginning with slow, deep, belly breaths is a good place to start – to really turbo charge your health and breath, why not try breathwork?
How is breathwork different to breathing?
“Breathwork” is the practice of consciously using your breath or breathing techniques for a certain period of time and for a specific outcome, such as releasing energy, accessing emotions and processing trauma. It cultivates self-awareness and physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being, as well as upgrading your physical health.
As you take big breaths in repetitively, you bypass the ego and rational mind and enter a different state of awareness. This is what most people seek when meditating and by breathing in this way, it takes you to that place very quickly; it is in this very space that healing, connection to spirit, and a deeper connection to self can arise.
Many studies have been done over the years to determine how breathwork can affect the body’s stress response.
A 1979 study from The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology proved that controlled breathing exercises could be used as an effective coping strategy for successful stress management.
Cat Raincock teaches conscious, connected breathing which means there is no gap after each breath. It’s done lying down on your back in a comfortable position, curated to music to help motivate, relax and release anything that’s stuck within your mind and body. She guides you through the process and uses a variety of tools to activate your senses and create a safe and beautiful space to heal and ultimately release. It’s powerful and you can experience profound effects: “Deep breaths are like little love notes to your body.”
“Deep breaths are like little love notes to your body.”