Somatic breathwork, despite how it may sound, is not technical or complicated. In fact, if you’ve ever done a breathwork session with me at Lindywell, you’ve already done it! At Lindywell, we consider somatic breathwork a conscious form of breathing that is intended to help you experience being in your body. It teaches you to …
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Somatic breathwork, despite how it may sound, is not technical or complicated. In fact, if you’ve ever done a breathwork session with me at Lindywell, you’ve already done it!
At Lindywell, we consider somatic breathwork a conscious form of breathing that is intended to help you experience being in your body. It teaches you to breathe fully, oxygenate your body, and become aware of your senses. Somatic breathwork helps shift your mental state while allowing you to return to full and healthy breath.
For example, if I encourage you to sink into the seat below you as you take a deep breath, feeling your body relax into that support, we’re not just breathing, we’re altering our physical state.
This way of breathing is so important because the connection between the breath and the body is powerful. Here’s the thing though: powerful doesn’t have to mean serious.
In fact, what I want to talk about today is how we can use somatic breathwork to be more playful! Let’s talk about how you can connect play and somatic breathwork, why this connection can be even more beneficial for your body and mind, and, most importantly, a few ways to try it for yourself.
Breathwork and Play: What’s the Connection?
All breathwork, somatic or otherwise, can be playful. Think back to when you were a child. As children, you were likely playful with your breath in ways you might not even recognize:
- Blowing out birthday candles
- Blowing a pinwheel
- Blowing bubbles
- Blowing the fluffy head of a dandelion
- Sniffing cookies freshly baked
All of these activities brought a deep sense of joy and satisfaction—and were also innately playful. I want you to take a moment right now to think about one of these memories for you. Take a deep breath and imagine you’re back in that moment.
As you do this, notice how your body feels. You might immediately be transported back to your childhood home with your parents baking in the kitchen, or running around your yard blowing bubbles with your siblings.
Your senses are heightened like you’re there again. In this moment of nostalgia, you feel more relaxed, you may even have a smile on your face. That right there, is why playful breathwork is important.
The Connection Between Play and Calm
It’s time to let go of what breathwork should look like, and embrace the fun of it! When you do this, you not only experience the nervous system regulation benefits of breathwork (you feel less anxious and stressed, your body is able to function better—hello, deeper sleep and improved digestion—and so much more), but you get to enjoy the benefits of play too, which include:
- Better management of difficult emotions like grief.
- Improved brain functioning.
- Increased resilience and self-confidence.
- Greater sense of optimism and overall life satisfaction.
- Improved function of most hormones in the body.
- Reduced heart rate and glucose levels.