I write and talk about breathwork benefits often as the Director of Content for Lindywell. (Check out our breathwork page that I helped create!) While I have enjoyed some breathwork practices here and there, I have to say I was skeptical about whether consistency really mattered (doing it daily) versus just in the moment, when I felt I needed it.
I was also curious whether I needed guided sessions, like what Lindywell offers—and if I would notice more benefits if I did have the expert prompts and guidance that Kiesha provides.
Ultimately, I know nervous system regulation is important so I decided to push myself to try breathwork every day for 31 days.
First and foremost, let me say that I was surprised by some changes, despite all that I know about the benefits of breathwork. Ultimately, I can truly say that it has changed my life. Not only do I feel calmer and more present, but my kids and co-workers have all noticed I’m more peaceful than I was at the start of the month too!
If you’re thinking about challenging yourself to try breathwork more consistently, I want to share my experience to give you a taste of why it’s absolutely worth it. The breathwork benefits far exceeded my expectations and I know they’ll exceed yours too!
How I Did My Breathwork Sessions
While there are many ways to practice breathwork, I wanted to be guided by Kiesha Yokers, our Head of Breathwork and Somatic Programs. I love how she teaches and guides in her sessions and knew she’d be the perfect person to take me on this journey. Read Kiesha’s article, The Healing Power of Breath, to learn about her approach to breathwork and how it can impact every area of your life.
Within Lindywell, I (and all of our members!) have access to more than 25 guided breathwork sessions that cover a wide variety of topics from sleep to gratitude. Each one ranges from 5-12 minutes, so I could choose whichever topic and time frame worked best for me each day. Some of the sessions I found myself coming back to were:
If you want to try these breathwork practices with Kiesha, start your free Lindywell trial and get instant access to each and every one! You can listen to them on your phone with our Lindywell app or through your web browser. Plus, when you sign up, you’ll also get access to 300+ Pilates workouts and hundreds of nutritious (and easy to make!) recipes created by a registered dietician.
Breathwork Benefits After 31 Days of Practicing
First and foremost, let me remind you that you don’t need to practice breathwork every single day for 31 days (or longer) to experience benefits. Even after a single session, you’ll likely feel less stressed, more calm, and more connected to yourself.
As with many aspects of health and wellness, however, consistency is the best way to create habits and experience long-term results. That was my goal and absolutely what I experienced. My day-to-day experience is calmer, my sleep is better, and I notice I am a better version of myself in every area of life. So let’s get into the details!
I Feel a Greater Sense of Calm
While this is one of the breathwork benefits we talk about a lot at Lindywell, I feel it is truly life-changing for me. I feel like I can ride the waves of my emotions with more awareness and can come back to a steady mood faster now.
A great example of this was when I recently had to drive my husband’s car (which I don’t like driving because it’s a manual transmission). Normally I would be shaking by the end of this drive from nerves and fear of stalling and holding up traffic. This time, I used box breath (a popular technique Kiesha teaches) the whole drive and the nerves didn’t peak as high, I never stalled and I also felt calm and happy when I got home instead of stressed!
Think of how many times in life we have to do something we don’t want to do—and how stressed or anxious that can make us feel. Having this new breathwork tool makes it so much easier to manage those situations without all that added emotion.
I’m Sleeping Better
I’m not only sleeping better but I’m also falling asleep faster! This has been an incredible shift because sleep has never come quickly for me. I did Breathwork for Sleep and Calm in the Lindywell app many nights during this time and noticed that sleep comes easier and I don’t wake up as often. This also means I feel more rested during the day—a huge win for me.
This translated into greater focus at work. Tackling an important task was so much easier because my mind felt sharp and I felt less distracted.
I’m a Better Mom
Breathwork has been a game-changer in my parenting. One of my children is struggling with anxiety and using my breath has helped me stay calm so I can help him do the same. I love that teaching him these resources has helped him face his fears too.
I’m also able to be the steady parent I want to be for my kids when something wild comes up (which it often does!) and I pause to breathe or have done breathwork that day.
One time, my son thought it would be fun to bring a pile of leaves into the house and throw them like confetti. Before breathwork, I would have gotten angry and felt a shift in my mood for the rest of the day. Because of breathwork, however, I stayed calm, talked to him about his choice (and laughed internally), and had him clean it up so we could move on with our night.
My ability to stay calm translates to my children’s ability to also stay calm during and after a challenging situation, which keeps it from becoming something more than it is.
I Have More Energy
I never realized how my breath can actually fuel my energy. My default used to be to just push through the drained feeling after a series of calls and keep working. But with low energy, tasks would take longer or I’d feel a lack of creativity. I realized that when I pause for five minutes after the calls and do an energizing breathwork technique, I get a new burst of energy and can stay focused again and be more creative.
Breathwork for Midday Mind Support and Breathwork for Energy became my new go-tos after a series of Zoom meetings in the middle of the day instead of turning to food for a pick-me-up. I love the tingly energized feeling I have after practicing those sessions and how ready I feel to tackle the next thing. I can’t stress enough that this is worth trying!
I’m More Aware of and Responsive to My Body’s Needs
It’s so easy to ignore the cues from your body, whether it’s asking you to slow down in the middle of a busy season. I’m no stranger to that, but now, I feel much more in tune with my body’s cues—and more likely to give myself whatever I need when I need it.
I also feel more at peace with my body and gratitude for all it can do rather than trying to always fix something. The gratitude meditations within the Lindywell app are some of my favorites.
My Inner-Critic is Quieter
That inner critic can be so challenging to deal with, giving constant commentary that is rarely helpful. My breathwork sessions have helped me quiet that voice, which also allows me to move past things faster. Instead of letting my inner critic beat me up when I make a mistake, I’m able to notice it, pause to see if there’s anything I can learn from it, and then move on without it impacting me for the rest of the day—or week.
Bonus: My Lung Capacity Improved
This is not something I was working toward or focusing on, but was excited to see! I used a new feature coming to the Lindywell app that allows you to test your breath capacity. When I did this, I saw significant improvements in my lung capacity (ex. how long I can hold my breath and exhale) because of my new breathwork habit. It’s amazing to me how our bodies adapt with a little bit of consistency and commitment.
Check out our recent blog post, Mouth Breathing vs. Nose Breathing: Why It Matters for Your Health, to learn more about how being intentional with breath can impact your health in surprising ways!
Experience Breathwork for Yourself
Now I crave opening up my app to be guided through a breathwork session and I love that I can access this tool whenever I need it. Experiencing these breathwork benefits first-hand has made me love this practice even more than I already did—and I couldn’t recommend it more, no matter what stage or season of life you’re in. Let’s be honest, we can all use a little more calm and connection! Start your free trial of Lindywell to try all the breathwork sessions I mentioned here, plus the 20+ others in the app!