Breathing Exercises for Holistic Wellness

Updated: Feb 14

What's something you always hear when you're in a state of panic? “Just take a deep breath.” Well, there are about a million reasons why this is great advice to follow, so let's get into WHY this is, and HOW to take advantage of the many benefits of breathing.

Why is breathwork so powerful?

Intentional breathing also relaxes your nervous system, and has some pretty profound benefits including:

  • Improved immunity

  • Decreased anxiety

  • Increased sleep quality

  • Detoxifying the body

  • Improved digestion

  • Improved cardiovascular health

  • Improved concentration

  • Reduced inflammation

  • Strengthened lungs

The Vagus Nerve

One reason breathwork is beneficial is because it has a stimulating effect on your vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a nerve that signals your body that it’s in a calm state and that it can now rest.

The term vagus in Latin means “wandering”, which perfectly describes its role. The vagus nerve is the longest and most complicated of our 12 cranial nerves, and runs from the brainstem to the colon. Along the way, it connects to the middle ear, lungs, heart, vocal chords, and intestines. See image above.

The vagus nerve possesses many roles, including regulating:

  • Emotional states

  • Inflammation levels

  • Heart rate

  • Digestion

  • Blood pressure