Breathwork and Meditation are distinct personal development practices that enjoy commonalities, like a Venn Diagram. Many breathwork practices integrate forms of meditation as part of their process. Many approaches to Meditation utilize Breathwork in some way, shape, or form. The best response to this question is direct experience. Inquire within if you’d like to get started. Both of these tools are ancient practices flowing with modern relevance. We live high-demand, fast-paced lifestyles. It’s critical we have ways and means of releasing the stress we absorb into our systems on a daily basis. When our backlog of stress goes unaddressed, we tend to feel out of alignment, disempowered, and unworthy. Without consistent and effective outlets, our stress rears its ugly head in a multitude of ways: Bad behavior, illness, conflict, toxicity, and ineffectiveness in action. Breathwork and Meditation address our inventory of accumulated stress and support the emergence of our evolving self.
Using Breathwork in Meditation
Most Meditation practices use a particular object of attention as a focal point during practice. Mantras, the breath, affirmations, visualizations, body awareness, sensory presence, and spatial awareness are among the most common. Using the breath as your focal point during Meditation practice is one of the most basic and universally applied approaches. Breathing is a unity point among all human beings. It is the common denominator experience of humanity. The experience of our breath is inherently devoid of content. It maintains the qualities of consistency and dynamism, it is both changeless and ever-changing. It is always occurring in the Present moment. Breathing occurs spontaneously, without the need of a ‘doer.’ All of these qualities make it an ideal candidate for use during Meditation. One clear distinction worthy of sharing: Breathwork uses control in its process, while pure forms of Meditation features effortlessness and surrender. Let’s explore this more:
Doing vs. Being
Breathwork is oriented around doing, while Meditation is oriented around Being. We can draw a clear line between the two practices in this way. When we are practicing Breathwork, we intentionally manipulate the breath as part of the process. In Meditation, we practice observing the breath, without control or manipulation. Breathwork is often used as a precursor to Meditation. With this approach, the doingness serves as a foundation for the Beingness that follows. In fact, I highly recommend some combination of Yoga and Breathwork, prior to finding stillness and surrender in your Meditation. Mindful doingness upgrades the quality of your Beingness. In turn, the quality of your Beingness flows back into the many doings of your life.
A Deeper Dive
If you’re ready to dive a little deeper, we find intricate weavings between doingness and Beingness throughout our practices. If you look at an individual Yoga pose, you are aligning your breath and activating your body to arrive in a particular posture. Once you arrive, you find depth, groundedness, and stillness. Movement and stillness weave together, as we flow in and out of each pose. In this way, we can say breathwork and meditative qualities are both present in Yoga. When we practice breathwork, we also find moments of Meditation. Particularly when the breath is being held, either at the top of an inhale or at the bottom of an exhale. In these moments of no breath, the mind enjoys unique qualities of spaciousness and stillness. Each of our practices integrate qualities of the other. Combining practices in particular sequences can be a powerful way to support your evolutionary flow. Inquire within to get started. Namaste!