Breathwork For Increased Energy, Alertness & Focus

    How can five to ten minutes of breathwork increase energy, alertness, focus & concentration? Simply put, by giving your body controlled stress. When we do breathwork our body releases adrenaline and norepinephrine (a stress hormone and a neurotransmitter). This brings about a feeling of agitation or stress and as a result causes you to be more alert. You can also achieve these benefits with other practices such as HIIT, ice baths and cold showers – but the trick is to be regular; pick a practice you can do every day or at least five times a week.

    If you’re wondering how inducing stress can be good for the body, let me explain. You’ve probably heard that not all stress is equal. That may be true, but what’s important is how long the stress is induced for, and how it is being induced. So how can we benefit from regular daily breathwork? In addition to the regular benefits of regular breathwork (reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, regulates blood pressure, etc.), you are also increasing energy in the body and teaching the body and brain to regulate its stress response. With daily breathwork, the body is better able to buffer when stress is experienced and epinephrine & cortisol is released. 

    So what would a daily breathwork practice to help increase alertness, focus and energy look like? 

    Breathwork For Increased Energy, Alertness & Focus

    1. Deep inhale through the nose and exhale out through the mouth. Your inhales should take approximately 3-4 seconds and your exhales same or slightly shorter. 
    2. You’d breathe this way for 25 – 30 rounds. Then exhale all the air out, and hold for 15 – 30 seconds
    3. Repeat the breathwork (long inhales and exhales) for another 25 – 30 rounds, and finish off the second round with another exhale and hold for 15 – 30 seconds
    4. Do this breathwork followed by a long exhale and hold for a total of 3-4 rounds

    Always do this on dry land, never close to water or while operating machinery. Of course, please make sure to get your doctor’s clearance before you begin.

    Here’s more information on the science of breathwork. To listen to more on increasing energy, focus & alertness, check out the podcast from the Huberman Lab at Stanford University.

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