How to Prepare for a Breathwork Session

April 26, 2021, Publisher: Breath Hub

We only need our breath to practise breathwork. But paying attention to a couple of things will increase the benefits of a breathing exercise. Now, let's take a look at how to prepare for a breathwork session, what to eat, and what to do before practising.  

Keep in mind that breathwork is a very personal experience. In addition to the breathing and meditation exercises that you can practise in the form of a ritual, you can practise breathing exercises in the middle of the day, at work, in class, at any time and in any environment where you need energy or calmness.

 

Is breathwork suitable for me?

  • Before starting the exercise, consult your doctor, especially if you have a medical condition and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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  • People with cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, aneurysms, osteoporosis, severe psychiatric disorders should be cautious practising breathing exercises. Breathwork is also not recommended after surgery or severe physical injury.
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  • Carefully watch and note your reaction to any of the breathing techniques. It is normal to experience short-term dizziness, numbness, tingling during deep breathing exercises. But if you feel too uncomfortable, you should take a break.

What should I eat before breathing exercises?

  • Digestion must be completed before a breathwork session, as it affects deep breathing negatively. Before the practice, make sure to avoid foods that are difficult to digest and prefer light foods such as soups, vegetables, salads and fruits. Avoid gluten, heavy grains, dairy and sugar. Refined sugar has noticeable effects on our physiology. It restricts the brain's capacity to receive oxygen and increases the pressure on the adrenal gland.
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  • Also, limit your caffeine intake with one cup in the morning, and don't drink coffee 2-3 hours before your practice, as it can prevent somatic experience during breathwork.
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  • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption starting 4-5 hours before the session, as these cause toxic energy, making detoxification —perhaps the most important of the healing aspect of breathwork— difficult.

How should I breathe during a session?

  • Prefer to breathe through your nose generally and during breathwork sessions unless otherwise indicated. If you have trouble breathing through your nose, try this exercise: Close one nostril and breathe through the other, applying a little pressure with your hand to the cheekbone of the side you are breathing. Continue for a while and switch to the other side.

Do I need to wear special clothes to practise breathwork?

  • Comfortable clothes that are not tight around the waist and chest and do not restrict the diaphragm are ideal during breathing exercises. Clothes made of cotton and natural fabrics help your skin breathe.

What would I need during a breathing session?

  • A yoga mat or pillow for lying or sitting.

Lying on a mattress can make you sleepy, causing you to relax too much.

 

You can find more on correct posture during breathwork here.

  • A pashmina or blanket to cover yourself.

Slowing blood circulation, especially in breathing exercises that involve deep meditation, can be chilly.

  • A sleep mask, scarf, etc., to cover your eyes.
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Darkness helps you focus and supports the pineal gland.

  • Water to drink after your sessions.

Especially after some sessions, you may need to drink water.

  • Pen and paper to write down experiences.

Taking notes allows you to record both the impact of the work and your progress.

 

Do I need a digital tool for breathwork?

  • You can practise the breathing techniques you've learned on your own. But if you're using a guided breathing app, make sure your tablet, phone or computer is charged or connected to a power source.
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  • Turn off or mute notifications so that your work is not interrupted.
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  • Tools such as speakers and headphones that improve sound quality can help you isolate yourself from the outside world and enhance the experience. They are especially useful for sound-oriented meditation exercises, such as sound baths.
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  • Also, limiting screen time before breathwork, just as before sleeping, will help calm and focus your mind.

Where should I practise breathwork?

  • Make sure you won't be disturbed. Inform the people in the house that you are doing an exercise.
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  • Breathwork and meditative exercises are ideal for practising in a quiet place on your own. Set that space before you start practising. Natural stones, yantras, incenses balance the energy of the environment. Being comfortable and feeling safe also positively affect the work.