Benefits of Somatic Release Breathwork

Somatic release breathwork is a powerful technique that can help to improve your mental, physical and spiritual health.

When practiced consistently somatic breathwork training will stimulates your nervous system, unearth stored trauma, lower blood pressure, improve vagal tone and more. 

But how? Let's explore a little further;

    What is Somatic Release Breathwork?

    Somatic breathwork is a type of conscious diaphragmatic breathing technique that is said to provide numerous benefits, including spiritual and emotional healing. The somatic breath is deep and full which helps to oxygenate the brain and body more efficiently.

    When practicing you'll become more aware of the sensations in the body, as you consciously observe the movement in your belly, ribs and chest as you inhale and exhale. Focusing on working your way through the chakras as a guidepost for this technique will help you to determine which emotions you need to work through.

    This can lead to a powerful release of emotion and tension in the body. 

    Benefits of Somatic Release Breathwork

    On a physiological level, when you practice deep breathing you stimulate the chakras which directly correlate to the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is one of the most important nerves in the body, it's responsible for the communication between the brain stem and your major organs. 

    Somatic breathwork and in fact many types of breathwork techniques, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, this is responsible for all of your emotional responses.

    Deep somatic breathing will help to calm your nervous system and take you out of ‘fight or flight’ responses to stress. For those of us who suffer from anxiety, stress or depression the nervous system is working in overdrive. Essentially, our biological body’s perceive that we are under constant threat which puts us it into panic-mode.

    This has a detrimental flow-on-effect to your physical, emotional and spiritual health - it can quite literally make you sick. Practicing somatic breathwork will help to lower blood pressure, stimulate the nervous system, make you more mindful and aware, improve your heart rate, work through trauma and increase vagal tone. 

    Physical benefits:

    1. Improved circulation: Deep, diaphragmatic breathing can improve blood flow and oxygenation of the body.
    2. Reduced muscle tension: Release muscle tension, reducing pain and stiffness in the body.
    3. Improved digestion: Stimulate the digestive system, promoting healthy digestion and elimination.
    4. Reduced inflammation: Reduce inflammation in the body, improving overall health and well-being.
    5. Improved immune function: Improve immune function, helping to prevent illness and disease.
    6. Reduced blood pressure: Regulate blood pressure, reducing the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
    7. Improved sleep: Promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
    8. Increased energy: Increase energy levels and reduce fatigue.
    9. Improved posture: Improve posture and reduce back pain.
    10. Enhanced physical performance: Enhance physical performance by improving oxygenation and reducing muscle tension.

    Emotional benefits:

    1. Reduced stress: Reduce stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.
    2. Increased emotional resilience: Emotional resilience and the ability to cope with challenging situations.
    3. Greater emotional awareness: Increase emotional awareness and the ability to identify and express emotions.
    4. Increased self-awareness: Increase self-awareness and promote personal growth and self-improvement.
    5. Improved emotional regulation: Regulate emotions, reducing the risk of emotional dysregulation and mood disorders.
    6. Greater sense of peace: Promote a sense of peace and tranquility, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.
    7. Improved relationships: Improve communication and empathy, promoting healthier and more fulfilling relationships.
    8. Greater sense of self-acceptance: Promote self-acceptance and self-love, reducing self-criticism and negative self-talk.
    9. Increased creativity: Enhance creativity and inspiration, promoting artistic expression and innovation.
    10. Greater sense of purpose: Promote a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life, reducing feelings of aimlessness and confusion.

    How to do Somatic Breathwork

    There are a few different methods to practice somatic breathwork, we will take you through 3 common practices;

    1. Chakra Body Scan
    2. Reset Breath
    3. Mouth Breath

    1. Chakra Body Scan

    1. Find a comfortable position to sit or lie down - ensure that your spine is straight 
    2. Close your eyes, relax and focus
    3. Take 3 deep conscious breaths - in through the nose - first into the belly and then the chest - release through the mouth like you’re blowing out a candle
    4. Focus all of your attention to the lower body starting at your feet, then slowly move up to the ankles, then your knees and thighs, groin and to the base of the spine
    5. Pay attention to any tension, emotions, pressure or other sensations in this area

    Now that you're relaxed and know the breathing technique begin your 7 chakra body scan

    1. Focus on the base of your spine or root chakra whilst taking 3 deep conscious breaths
    2. Once relaxed you are ready scan up the body
    3. Focus on your pelvic region or the sacral chakra while taking 3 deep conscious breaths
    4. Pay attention to any tension, emotions, pressure or other sensations in this area
    5. If you feel tension repeat 1 conscious breath
    6. Once relaxed you are ready to scan up the body
    7. Continue to scan up the body through the chakras in order with this method. 

    Click here for more information on the location and emotion connected to each chakra.

    2. Reset Breath

    1. Find a comfortable position to sit or lie down - ensure that your spine is straight 
    2. Close your eyes and relax 
    3. Take 3 deep conscious breaths - in through the nose - first into the belly and then the chest - release through the mouth like you’re blowing out a candle

    Now that you are relaxed and know the breath you are ready for the Reset Breath technique:

    1. Place one hand on your lower belly and the other on your chest
    2. Take 10 full, deep open breaths - do not pause and hold on the inhale or exhale
    3. Feel the breath enter your belly, then your chest and once at your limit release with an exhale
    4. On your 11th breath, inhale as deeply as possible, hold at the top of your head for 5-10 seconds and let go
    5. You should feel an instant release of stress, tension and anxiety
    6. Warning: This technique may make you feel dizzy or faint, so please practice in a safe space

    3. Mouth Breath

    1. Find a comfortable position to sit or lie down - ensure that your spine is straight 
    2. Close your eyes and relax 
    3. Place one hand on your lower belly and one hand on your chest
    4. Relax your jaw
    5. Inhale through the mouth into the lower belly and then into the upper chest
    6. Let your exhale simply fall out of your mouth without any effort
    7. Do not take any pauses between breaths
    8. Continue to breathe in through the mouth deeply and let the breath go through the mouth
    9. Aim to do 20-30 breaths
    10. You will feel sensations in the body and may feel a strong emotional release
    11. Note: The deeper you inhale the more intense the experience

    Somatic Release Breathwork & the Chakras

    Chakras are energy centres in the body that are associated with different aspects of our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

    Each chakra correlates to a specific emotion, for example the throat chakra corresponds to your expression centre and is related to how you communicate, express your creativity and voice your opinions.

    If you are a poor communicator, shy, anxious or arrogant this would be a sign that your throat chakra is blocked. When our chakras are out of balance, it can lead to physical, mental and emotional issues.

    In order to open your chakras you must work through any trauma or insecurity that is blocking your chakra energy centre. As you practice the breathwork and focus on each chakra individually, you'll start to release negative emotions associated with it.

    For instance if you were practicing somatic breathwork whilst focusing your awareness on the throat chakra you might confront issues like; being too reserved, being too fearful to tell the truth or having difficulty expressing emotion.

    By unearthing your blockages you will begin to confront truths about yourself, feel empathy for your past struggle and eventually be able to move past it. This activation is believed to help reduce stress hormones in the body, improve mood, and boost energy levels.

    Final Thoughts

    If you’re looking for a powerful way to heal trauma, stimulate the vagus nerve and boost your awareness, we encourage you to try a somatic release breathwork technique. Not only has this ancient technique been practiced for thousands of years, it's backed by scientific evidence to show why it works. We recommend trying this technique every second day for a week to see if you feel the benefits.

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    Author Bio

    I am a meditation coach and practitioner who gets to spend their day transforming people's lives. I have a special interest in meditation, yoga and the chakras. I've seen countless lives changed through these practices and I intend to see some more!