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Breathwork

Find a professional for Breathwork in Los Angeles

The term "breathwork" refers to many forms of conscious alteration of breathing, such as hyperventilation or connecting the inhale and exhale, when used within psychotherapy or meditation. Proponents believe the technique may be used to attain alternate states of consciousness, and that sustained practice of breathwork techniques may result in spiritual or psychological benefits.

Breathwork has been used as a label for yogic Pranayama and Tibetan Tantric Tummo, traditional spiritual practices from which the modern Western therapies most probably derive. Occasional use of the term breathwork to describe Buddhist Anapanasati, "mindfulness of breathing" or "conscious breathing" appears to be misleading, because the meditator breathes naturally, without attempting to change the length or depth of the breath, simply observing it. This too can be debated as some practitioner would contend that whenever attention is focused, the object of attention changes, in this case breathing typically becomes longer, deeper and more relaxed.

While using movement, Tai Chi and Qigong also make conscious use of the breath.

When the modern breath-oriented therapies were first developed in the 1970s, they were often, as well as the previous spiritual and therapeutic history of breathwork, influenced by ideas from psychotherapy or the human potential movement.

Leonard Orr and Stanislav Grof are two practitioners from whose work many of the more recently created types of breathwork have derived the basis of their techniques.

Leonard Orr's style of Breathwork, Rebirthing Breathwork is based on the technique of conscious connected breathing; connecting the inhale and exhale without pause or lock in between them. Stanislav Grof's Holotropic Breathwork uses deep, fast, circular breathing.

Over the last twenty years, the Western therapies centering on breathwork have experienced greater diversity. They have developed into many different types such as Conscious Connected Breathing, Vivation, Transformational Breathwork, Radiance Breathwork, and others. Older techniques such as Yoga, Pranayama, Tai Chi, and Chi Kung are also offered as classes and written about in the West more frequently than in the past. New books about the modern forms of breathwork are still being written.


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