The Power of Breathwork

Deadlines, objectives, and constant meetings. The contemporary work environment can be incredibly stressful. We move from one task to another in autopilot mode, often without considering what we’re doing or where we’re headed. Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily routines, we may even overlook our own well-being. That’s why it’s crucial to take a moment to pause and reconnect with ourselves.

We live life so intensely that we often overlook a natural and involuntary process of our body — one that could be the key to our well-being. Breathing —something we do about 21,000 times a day— deeply impacts our organism and influences many aspects we typically overlook.

During exhalation, we trigger the brain’s parasympathetic state, creating a feeling of calmness and serenity, aiding in emotional regulation and anxiety relief. Conversely, inhalation activates the sympathetic state, priming us for action. Considering this, breathwork practice can offer us numerous benefits.

What’s breathwork?

Breathwork, simply put, involves any exercise that heightens our awareness of breathing. It encompasses a range of techniques aimed at intentional breathing to regulate the nervous system. This practice of mindful breathing offers a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. While there are various approaches to breathwork, they all recognize that breathing extends beyond its basic physiological role — it’s a potent tool for impacting both body and mind, fostering genuine personal transformation over time.

Origins of breathwork

Yoga, Tai Chi, and Buddhism are some of the ancient Eastern practices that could be related to the origins of breathwork, as they employ various breathing techniques to harmonize the body and mind. However, most of the breathwork techniques used today were primarily developed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Among the pioneers of this conscious breathing technique are Stanislav and Christine Grof, Leonard Orr, and Sondra Ray, who were the creators of two original branches: Holotropic Breathwork and Rebirthing Breathwork.

  • Rebirthing Breathwork is an alternative therapy technique based on conscious and circular work, aiming to induce deep relaxation and expand consciousness. Although some studies have shown positive results in the treatment of post-traumatic stress, the Ministries of Science and Health of Spain classify this technique as pseudotherapy. It is important to note that its practice should always be carried out under the supervision of a professional
  • Holotropic Breathwork integrates various elements such as hyperventilation, evocative music, bodywork, mandalas, and drawings. This combination aims to facilitate access to the deepest levels of the unconscious and explore emotions, memories, or conflicts, all while reaching a state of deep relaxation. In this way, it promotes greater self-awareness, integration, and balance between the body and mind.

How can I incorporate breathwork into my life?

Getting started with breathwork is much easier than you might think. Just follow these steps:

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable place with no distractions.  
  2. Choose a comfortable and relaxed posture, whether sitting, lying down, or standing.
  3. For your first experience with breathwork, breathe deeply through your nose, filling your abdomen and chest with air. 
  4. Then exhale slowly through your mouth, emptying your abdomen and chest.
  5. Repeat this breathing cycle for a short period of time, adjusting the duration according to your experience and capacity. As you do so, observe how your abdomen expands and contracts with each inhalation and exhalation.
  6. If any thoughts enter your mind, let them go without judgment and refocus your attention on your breath.
  7. You can use gentle music or ambient sounds to accompany your practice.

Breathwork at the workplace

In the workplace, some companies arrange guided sessions for their employees, either one-on-one or in groups. Led by an expert, these sessions involve breathing exercises aimed at inducing deep relaxation. The duration can range from 10 minutes to an hour. Major corporations like Google, Amazon, and Spotify have already embraced these practices for their workforce, recognizing their many benefits.

During Wellness Week, The Switch and EAE Barcelona hosted an Active Meditation event with SUCO, open to employees and students, which included the practice of breathwork.

Benefits of Breathwork for Work:


It improves creativity, focus, and innovative thinking

When we engage in mindful and deep breathing, we enhance the flow of oxygen to the brain, which contributes to improving mental clarity, focus, and the ability to generate creative ideas.


It promotes a healthy and productive work environment.

Individually, breathwork helps us connect better with our emotions, needs, and opinions, promoting assertiveness and respect. This not only allows us to be more tolerant of others but also contributes to creating a warmer and healthier environment for the entire team.

When breathwork is practiced collectively within an organization, its benefits multiply, as both trust and communication among team members can be strengthened.


It helps alleviate stress

It aids in relaxing the body, lowering stress levels, and enhancing personal well-being. Practicing this collectively in the workplace during busy periods can help alleviate stress related to these situations and, consequently, boost our work efficiency.

Breathwork is known for its ability to boost creativity, focus, and productivity, while also fostering stronger work relationships and stress management. This practice emerges as a holistic tool for enhancing well-being and performance, both individually and in the workplace. Its adoption, backed by top companies, showcases its positive impact on quality of life and work dynamics, making it a valuable strategy for cultivating a healthier and more efficient work environment.

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