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VIRTUAL BREATHWORK CLASSES AND ANXIETY

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Image: @iamwellandgood

 

I don’t know about you. But I’m incredibly lazy. But it’s almost a type of selective laziness that at times, makes my anxiety even worse.

Hike 10 miles? Back to back Peloton classes? Count me in. But for some reason, I just can’t seem to stick to a consistent mindfulness or meditation practice regardless of how hard I try. And I know I’m not the only one.

Perhaps it is simply that sitting still is too damn hard OR that there is little accountability when it comes to a recorded mindfulness session, even less so if you’re guiding yourself through it.

However, Frequency Mind made its way into my life recently, arguably when I needed it the most. It’s an virtual platform of breathwork classes and workshops that all take place via Zoom. You pay per class or can sign up for an unlimited membership. I have the latter, allowing me to take part in daily classes.

I’ll be completely honest, I went in with zero expectations and even thought about putting it off because, as I said, I am lazy AF. And breathwork, like mindfulness and meditation, seemed too difficult to maintain.

But I gave it a go nonetheless. And BOY am I glad that I did.

What I found is that breathwork seems to be a much easier form of mindfulness for those with a hectic mind. You are being guided through something that you can focus on and have very little time to think about anything else. Every teacher is different, but I’ve noticed a lot of one particular type of breathing.

All of the breath takes place via the mouth. In with two big breaths (stomach, chest) and a release out through the mouth, whilst the guide plays music and interjects every couple of moments to keep you focused. This is sandwiched between deeper breathing, such as box breath, triangular breath or Wim Hof, finishing with a meditation.

The hour flies by and I feel as though I could spend the entire afternoon doing it. It feels effortless, yet pushes you into, as one of the guides so wonderfully described it, choppy waters. The breath can be uncomfortable yet forces you to tap into any trapped energy or emotions manifesting under the surface.

It feels like a really wonderful release and after just one week, I feel that my ability to manage and deal with any anxious feelings when they do pop up, has greatly improved.

The fact that ONE: I do not have to leave my house, and TWO: the classes are live, creating a real sense of accountability and community in comparison to recorded guidance. It makes all the difference.

I lie with the lights dimmed on my bed of nails acupressure mat. Pink salt rock lamps plugged in, eye pillow placed over my face and essential oils generously filling up the diffusor. If that isn't #peakwellness, I don't know what is.

I find myself banging on and on about how important that parasympathetic state is for overall health and wellbeing and how slotting in time spent on radical rest and self-care can help counteract the effects of high-stress hormones.

Soothing the adrenals and getting into that rest and digest state is just as essential for wellness as the food on your plate. It helps to boost the immune system, support digestion, mental health, focus and hormone balance. Breathwork is just another tool kit for doing just that.

Megan x 

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