When is the Best Time for Breathing Exercises?

February 22, 2021, Publisher: Breath Hub

As more and more people realize how closely breathing is related to our physiological and psychological health, more and more people turn to breathwork to improve their health, sharpen their focus, boost their athletic performance and in general to feel better. Some prefer to concentrate on their breathing entirely in the comfort of their own home or office, while others prefer to work with the help of guided breathwork sessions or a breathing coach.

So, when is the best time to practice breathwork – or is there such a thing?

It all depends on what you want to do with your breath. You can warm up your body and increase your energy, help heal a trauma stuck in your body, or calm your mind to fall asleep more easily. That’s why some breathing exercises are done in the early hours of the day, some at midday, and some right before falling asleep.

For instance, Kapalabhati, also known as breath of fire or skull-shining breath, should be practiced in the early hours of the day. If practiced at night, you may have trouble sleeping as it will boost your energy. The opposite is also true – if you practice a sleep-focused breathing session in the early hours when you need to be energised, it will decrease your energy level and you will struggle to get through the day.

This is exactly why you need to know the function of a specific breathing method as well as how it’s practiced so that you can correctly decide when to use it.

Should I practice breathwork every day?

Short answer – absolutely. Even when you can’t find the time to do long breathing or meditation practices, just by dedicating 5 to 10 minutes each day, you can relax, increase your awareness, and balance your nervous system to have more control over your emotions.

You don’t need to set a specific time for breathwork– you can practice when you wake up, on your lunch break, in between your daily chores, or before going to bed.

Ideally, you will benefit from breathwork the most when you practice it regularly each morning and evening. But setting ambitious goals can cause you to lose motivation if you fail to achieve them. So, if you are new to breathwork, setting a specific time for yourself for regular breathing practice can help you create a habit around it.

Here, you can find a breathing practice that will help you stop and take a breather (ahem, pun intended) in between your daily tasks.
We are sometimes inclined to ignore the big effects of small practices. But very soon, you will start to see the psychological, physical, and mental effects of breathwork, even when you only dedicate 10 minutes each day.

How does breathing affect psychological and physical health?

How you breathe determines the way you feel and think. And in turn, your thoughts and feelings directly affect your health. You can easily notice this by observing how you hold your breath when you are furious or scared.  However, when you’re trying to sleep, the opposite happens – your breathing calms down and deepens.

Dysfunctional breathing habits are known to cause or aggravate more than 200 symptoms. Among these are psychological conditions such as panic attacks and anxiety disorders as well as conditions such as asthma, migraine, chronic fatigue, and memory issues.
Unnecessarily frequent, deep, or shallow breaths can be the evidence of dysfunctional breathing habits. Even though there is no one-size-fits-all breathing technique, it is very important to breathe in a way your body needs and to not force or control the breath.

The importance of breath in yoga and meditation

Life begins and ends with breathing –life is breathing and those who have control over their breath, also have control over their lives. From ancient societies to the present day, breath has been called by many names – energy of life, chi, prana – and apart from its physical function, it also has a spiritual importance. There are two reasons behind that.

First, even when we lose all bodily functions like the ability to speak, see, reproduce, or even think, life still continues. But when breath leaves our body, life follows suit.

Second, even though breathing is part of the autonomic nervous system, and therefore is involuntary like the circulatory and digestive systems, it is the only one that we can consciously manipulate as well.

This awareness has placed breathing at the centre of yoga and meditation practices. Only when we control our breath with our conscious mind can we create a connection between our anatomy, physiology, our deep feelings, and our deepest spiritual potential.

Change your breathing, change your life

Breathing is directly connected with our nervous system and messages about respiration have a high priority in our neural network. Learning to consciously control our breath allows us to control our emotional and physical reactions. This, in turn, helps us manage our stress and increase our quality of life.

At Breath Hub, you can find countless breathing practices that will reduce your stress level, increase your energy, boost your mood, strengthen your immunity and calm your mind. Start your breathing practice now.