Discover the benefits of slow rhythmic breathwork and how this practice can improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Learn how to incorporate coherent breathing into your daily routine and experience the positive impact it can have on your health.
Did you know that something as simple as regulating your breathing can have profound health benefits? Coherent breathing (breathing at around 5 or 6 breaths per minute - what scientists call the "resonance frequency") for just 10-20 minutes a day, is one of the easiest, evidence-based ways to radically improve your health and psychological wellbeing.
Something this easy and powerful should be part of everybody's daily routine, but for most people, sadly, this just isn't the case...why is that? Well, according to award-winning breathwork author Tom Granger, quite frankly, it's because, "it's boring to practice and difficult to know if you’re getting it right". However, the great news is, when you add music, all of that changes!
Listening to music while regulating your breathing can take this practice to a whole new level, making it more engaging and enjoyable. With music, you enhance the benefits of this breathing technique, without the added challenges that make it less appealing.
Music has the power to transform the way we approach regulating our breathing, taking it from a tedious task to an enjoyable practice. Here's why:
By combining calming music with a slower breathing rate, you can double down on the benefits of relaxation, creating an oasis of calm in your day.
Unlike traditional meditation, keeping pace with music can help you stay focused on your breath without the need for a formal practice. You can reap the benefits of mindfulness effortlessly, while enjoying your favorite tunes.
Practicing with music is more engaging and fun than going it alone. With music as your guide, the practice itself becomes something to look forward to, rather than a chore.
Breathing in time with music can also promote feelings of connection and togetherness, whether you're practicing alone or with others. It's a great way to find common ground and improve your sense of community.
Most importantly, practicing with music ensures that you're breathing at the right rhythm, giving you confidence that you're getting the full benefits of this simple yet powerful technique.
So, whether you're a seasoned meditator or just getting started, consider adding music to your breathing practice. It's quite simply the key to unlocking a whole new world of benefits and making your coherent breathing routine something you look forward to each day.
Ready to give it a go?
This calming, musical breathwork practice from Aria Breath will guide you to breathe-in with the high notes… and breathe-out with the low notes – easily slowing your breath down to the "resonance frequency" range (between 3.5 and 7 breaths per minute) and providing amazing, instant health benefits!
Here are just some of the many proven benefits you will experience from breathing slowly, and rhythmically with music...
Reinvigorate your energy levels:
Oxygen is your number one source of energy. It makes intuitive sense that breathing more air should lead to more oxygen in the system and therefore more energy in the cells... But this isn’t what happens!
Our blood chemistry requires balance for proper oxygen delivery. Carbon dioxide, far from being a waste gas, balances blood PH and controls vasodilation to ensure proper oxygen delivery. Without the correct amount of CO2 in the system, our cells are starved of oxygen.
So slower, balanced breathing leads to an increase in CO2, optimal blood PH, and with it, healthy blood pressure and increased oxygen levels. Allowing oxygen to reach even our furthest tissues and cells.
Increased oxygen delivery means better health. We can literally feel this as restored energy running through our bodies! What’s more, it begins to have these effects within just a few breaths!
Coherent breathing regulates what doctors call “Heart Rate Variability” (HRV). Put simply, this is a measure of the flexibility of your heart – your heart’s ability to immediately speed up and slow-down in response to microscopic changes in the body, mind and environment.
The higher your HRV, the faster your heart can recover from stress, and the better it is at maintaining homeostasis; your body’s natural equilibrium. Which in turn means less overall stress on your entire system and increased physiological resilience.
HRV naturally declines as we age but it is also negatively impacted by chronic stress. Something that almost everyone now experiences.
But by breathing slowly and rhythmically we create something that scientists call “resonance” in the cardiovascular system and this special state allows the heart rate to increase and decrease more than usual with each breath. When we do this daily it’s like yoga training for the heart – dramatically increasing its flexibility!
It’s almost as though, when breathing at the resonance frequency, every slow breath out is like a “push up” but instead of strengthening a muscle, it strengthens your ability to relax and recover from stress.
Restore Balance to Your Nervous System
Gasping, sighing, crying, laughing… every emotion you feel is reflected almost immediately in how you breathe. This is because your breath is deeply tied to your nervous system.
The stress levels in your system immediately affect how you breathe – more stress means faster, shallower breathing or frozen breaths… which in turn lead to… more stress.
The good news is, it works both ways. By slowing the breath down deliberately, we put ourselves in the driving seat and offer relief to the nervous system, giving it a chance to heal.
This doesn’t just feel calming, it also means more energy and physiological resilience for you. It doesn’t stop there though…
Because of neuroplasticity, by continuing to practice daily, over time we strengthen the connections in the nerves and neurons so that we literally begin to shape a healthier nervous system.
Balanced breathing quite literally balances our internal systems.
Feel Good Factor
Feeling good doesn’t just feel good… it is good for you!
Breathwork not only feels good in the moment; with regular practice it begins to increase the body’s natural resilience and restore our pathways to health.
Multiple studies over the last ten years have shown that slow, rhythmic breathing leads to decreased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD in clinical settings.
Your body is being kept alive from moment to moment by a system of unconscious biorhythms called the autonomic nervous system. Heart beats, blood pressure, peristalsis… breathing. Luckily, we don’t have to make any effort for this to happen.
But unlike other parts of the autonomic system, the areas of the brain that control breathing, whilst usually automatic, can be voluntarily controlled… That makes breathing pretty special.
Scientists now believe that, by controlling the breath subtly, we can naturally increase and entrain the parts of the brain that control emotional regulation, leading, in a very literal sense, to greater self-mastery.
Reconnect to Your Intuition and Insight
The skill of creativity affords us new ways of seeing, thinking, and being… whilst giving us the power to disrupt negative patterns and replace them with new ones. It allows us to see and act on new solutions to old problems or imagine and select alternative futures for ourselves.
Put simply, creativity is the capacity to notice, appreciate and act on the subtle connections between things that might otherwise go unnoticed.
This makes it a unique form of resilience.
Children are natural creative geniuses. But as we age and our minds become busier, the conceptual world around us solidifies; we lose the power to see new possibilities.
So how do we access our creativity on a deeper level?
“Intuition, inspiration, insight” … noticing a theme? These are effects that happen inside our bodies, with very little conscious effort on our part. They are the subtle parts of ourselves that allow us to sense new ideas and feel creative.
Because the parts of our nervous systems that connect us to our interoception, (our inner vision), are deeply entwined with breathing, our breath has a very real capacity to unlock them through improved vagal function. Or, as we like to say at Aria Breath… belly breathing connects us to gut feeling!
But creativity doesn’t just involve embodiment. Afterall, it’s the new synaptic pathways in the brain that give us the super-highway to creative insight.
Breathing rhythms are some of the most powerful vibrations in the brain; rippling out and impacting other patterns, parts and pathways. Because our breathing tempo can be brought under conscious control, we can literally act as a conductor for the whole brain; creating entrainment and synchrony that allows disparate parts of ourselves to become joined in one symphony and “speak” to each other in ways they never ordinarily would.
Like throbbing bass frequencies escaping a distant night club, the brainwave echoes of slow and low breathing oscillations move further through the cortex and allow the whole psyche to dance to one tune.
Enhance Personal Relationships
You know how your emotions are reflected in how you breathe? Well, the way you breathe affects your feelings via the same system. Slow, rhythmic breathing activates part of your nervous system that scientist call the “ventral vagal pathway”. Also known as “the social engagement system”.
This branch of nerves is unique to mammals.
Because we have evolved to care for our young, look after our elderly, and work in tight groups, we need a way to feel safe around other members of our species, a way to feel connected to other people; a built-in capacity to slow down without fear or get activated and excited without needing the "flight" response…
Enter the parts of the nervous system that connect the face, to the heart, and to our breathing.
When this system is activated, it provides a sense of safety, calmness and balance throughout the body.
Naturally, this helps to minimise stress and anxiety, (reducing a common strain on our interpersonal relationships). But. way more importantly, it actually allows us to feel more connected to the people around us.
When our “social engagement system” is online, our nervous system begins to subconsciously mirror and interact with those around us, and we actually start to co-regulate.
We become better at understanding each other and communicating our needs. Our brain begins to prime itself for deeper connection by increasing its capacity to release oxytocin; the "love" hormone.
In this state, we actually get better at seeing and sensing the connections between social groups, individuals… and even ideas.
All of these effects lead to increased trust, happiness, and even intimacy, within interpersonal relationships.
We’ve all been told that meditation is good for us. We may have even attended a course or downloaded an app, but with so much on the to-do list, meditation just becomes another thing that’s easy to cross off.
The Buddha called mindfulness meditation “Anapanasati”, which, translated, means “noticing the sensations of the breath”.
When guiding our breath in time with music, we naturally become aware of our breath in each moment. And the good news is, it’s much easier to stay focused when practising with music!
By pacing our breath to music, we are subtly, but persistently, focusing on the breath… that’s meditation without even trying.
The early scientists who were studying the impact of “resonance frequency” on heart health in the nineties and noughties, each took it upon themselves to travel around the world and study advanced meditators. Although working independently, they all came across the same strange phenomenon…
From Himalayan yogis and Chinese Qigong masters to Japanese zazen monks, wherever the scientists found and studied advanced meditators, they realised that they were all naturally breathing at this special frequency when meditating.
The scientists realised that a lot of the benefits of the practice came down to how they were breathing, rather than how they were directing their attention.
Now you can gain the benefits of a master meditator… without the 30 years of training!